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Full text of "Melvin M. Swig, President, Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties, 1971-1972 : oral history transcript ; with introductions by Donald H. Seiler and Robert E. Sinton ; interviews conducted by Eleanor K. Glaser in 1991. Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 1991"

University of California Berkeley 



Regional Oral History Office University of California 

The Bancroft Library Berkeley, California 



Jewish Community Federation Leadership Oral History Project 



Melvin M. Swig 

PRESIDENT, JEWISH COMMUNITY FEDERATION OF SAN FRANCISCO, 
THE PENINSULA, MARIN AND SONOMA COUNTIES, 1971-1972 



With Introductions by 
Donald H. Seiler 

and 
Robert E. Sinton 



Interviews Conducted by 

Eleanor K. Glaser 

in 1991 



Copyright 1991 by The Regents of the University of California 



Since 1954 the Regional Oral History Office has been interviewing leading 
participants in or well -placed witnesses to major events in the development of 
Northern California, the West, and the Nation. Oral history is a modern research 
technique involving an interviewee and an informed interviewer in spontaneous 
conversation. The taped record is transcribed, lightly edited for continuity 
and clarity, and reviewed by the interviewee. The resulting manuscript is typed 
in final form, indexed, bound with photographs and illustrative materials, and 
placed in The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, and 
other research collections for scholarly use. Because it is primary material, 
oral history is not intended to present the final, verified, or complete 
narrative of events. It is a spoken account, offered by the interviewee in 
response to questioning, and as such it is reflective, partisan, deeply involved, 
and irreplaceable. 



************************************ 



All uses of this manuscript are covered by a legal agreement 
between The Regents of the University of California and Melvin M. 
Swig dated July 30, 1991. The manuscript is thereby made available 
for research purposes. All literary rights in the manuscript, 
including the right to publish, are reserved to The Bancroft Library 
of the University of California, Berkeley. No part of the 
manuscript may be quoted for publication without the written 
permission of the Director of The Bancroft Library of the University 
of California, Berkeley. 

Requests for permission to quote for publication should be 
addressed to the Regional Oral History Office, 486 Library, 
University of California, Berkeley 94720, and should include 
identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated 
use of the passages, and identification of the user. The legal 
agreement with Melvin M. Swig requires that he be notified of the 
request and allowed thirty days in which to respond. 

It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows: 



Melvin M. Swig, "President, Jewish 
Community Federation of San Francisco, the 
Peninsula, Mar in and Sonoma Counties, 
1971-1972," an oral history conducted in 
1991 by Eleanor K. Glaser, Regional Oral 
History Office, The Bancroft Library, 
University of California, Berkeley, 1992. 



Copy no. 




Melvin M. Swig, 1986. 



Cataloging Information 

SWIG, Melvin M. (b. 1917) Jewish community leader 

President. Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula. 
Marin and Sonoma Counties. 1971-1972. 1992, xii, 228 pp. 

Family background, Boston, and business, the Giant Store; to San Francisco 
after World War II; San Francisco-based Jewish Community Federation: 
fundraising, executives and volunteers, presidency, 1971-1972, views on 
Jewish day schools; Jewish Community Endowment Fund; dispute with Jewish 
Agency; further Jewish community involvement: Bulletin, Telegraphic Agency, 
Family Service; overseas work: the State of Israel and the Jewish 
community; San Francisco civic, philanthropic, and political activities. 

Introductions by Donald H. Seller, current president, and Robert E. Sinton, 
past president of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the 
Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties. 

Interviewed 1991 by Eleanor Glaser for the Jewish Community Federation Oral 
History series. The Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, 
University of California, Berkeley. 



The Regional Oral History Office would like to express its 
thanks to the Jewish Community Endowment Fund of The 
Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the 
Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties. Their 
encouragement and support have made possible the Jewish 
Community Federation Leadership Oral History Project. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS-- Me Ivin M. Swig 

PREFACE i 

INTRODUCTION --by Donald H. Seller iv 

INTRODUCTION --by Robert E. Slnton v 

INTERVIEW HISTORY vi 

BRIEF BIOGRAPHY viii 

CHRONOLOGY x 



I THE SWIG FAMILY 1 

Aronovitz and Swig Relatives 1 

Joe Ford 5 

Simon Swig and His Children 6 

Benjamin Swig's Businesses 9 

II EARLY YEARS IN BOSTON 12 

Born July 31, 1917 12 

Education 14 

The Giant Store 18 

III MARRIAGE AND MILITARY SERVICE 20 

Married to Phyllis Diamond, 1939; U.S. Army, 1945 20 

Out of Officer's Training School 21 

Military Training 23 

Return to Civilian Life, 1945 25 

IV SWIG FAMILY MOVES TO SAN FRANCISCO 26 
Purchase of Hotels: St. Francis, 1944; Fairmont, 1945; 

Bellevue, 1950 26 

Mazor's Store, Oakland 28 

From Retail Business to Real Estate 29 

V JEWISH COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT 32 

Jewish National Welfare Fund, 1948 32 

Early Leaders 32 

Fundraising and Budgeting 33 

Campaign Chairman, 1969 34 

The Budgeting Process 36 

Mount Zion Hospital 

Jewish Family Service Agency 39 

VI MISSION TO MOROCCO AND EUROPE, 1961 40 

Accompanied by John Steinhart and Marshall Kuhn 40 

Programs to Aid Moroccan Jews 40 

Refugees in Vienna and Paris 43 



VII MORE ON FUNDRAISING 47 

Speaking to Groups on Return from Mission 47 

Capital Fund Drives 48 

Funds From United Way 49 

Advance Gifts 49 

VIII FEDERATION AND VOLUNTEERS 51 

Those Who are New to the Community 51 

IX FEDERATION ASSIGNMENTS 54 

Committees 54 

Promoting Leadership 56 

Trip to Israel and Suez Canal, 1970 57 

X FEDERATION PRESIDENT, 1971-1972 59 

Campaign 59 

Professional Staff 59 

Federation Agencies 61 

Changes During Presidencies 62 

Jewish Vocational and Employment Guidance Service 63 

Programs for Young People and Stronger Jewish 

Identification 63 

Jewish Day Schools 66 

Israel 69 

United Bay Area Crusade 71 

Large Cities Budgeting Conference 71 

Positions After Presidency 72 

XI FEDERATION EXECUTIVES 74 
Federation President Jesse Feldman Seeks New 

Executive, 1973 74 

Opposition to Rabbi Brian Lurie 75 

Federation Headquarters Building 78 

Wayne Feinstein, New Federation Executive, 1991 78 

XII JEWISH COMMUNITY ENDOWMENT FUND 80 

Early Executives; Growth and Uses of Funds 80 

XIII DISPUTE WITH JEWISH AGENCY 86 

Support for Brian Lurie 86 

XIV MORE ON JEWISH COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT 90 

Jewish Community Bulletin, President, 1969-1971 90 

Jewish Telegraphic Agency 94 

Mount Zion Hospital 96 

Jewish Family Service Agency 98 

Federation Assignments 99 

Overseas Committee 99 

Committee on Jewish Education 101 

Chairman, Ad Hoc Committee on "Who Is A Jew" 102 

American Friends of Haifa University 103 

American Jewish Committee 104 

State of Israel Bonds 105 



United Jewish Appeal 106 
American Association of Ben Gurion University 

of the Desert 107 

Ant i- Defamation League of B'nai B'rith 108 

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee 109 

Brandeis University 109 

XV INVOLVEMENT IN NON-JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS 111 

University of San Francisco 111 

Grace Cathedral 113 
President, California Association for American 

Conservatory Theatre 117 
Civic League of Improvement Clubs and Associations 

of San Francisco 118 

Commonwealth Club of California 119 

Crescent Porter Hale Foundation 120 

Chairman, Easter Seal Campaign, 1963 121 

National Conference of Christians and Jews 122 

Foreman, San Francisco City and County Grand Jury, 1969 122 

Vice-President, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce 124 

San Francisco City Parking Corporation 126 

Commissioner, San Francisco Housing Authority, 1962-1965 127 

Chairman, San Francisco International Film Festival, 1965 129 

San Francisco Life Insurance Company 132 

State Savings and Loan Association of Stockton 132 

Stanford University Jewish Studies Program 133 

President, Lake Merced Golf and Country Club 133 

United Way of the Bay Area 134 

Bay Area Council 134 

Boy Scouts of America 135 

Brown University 135 

Civilian Advisory Committee 136 

Columbia Park Boys' Club 137 

Koret Foundation 137 

United Negro College Fund 139 

United Services Organization [USO] 139 

Fundraising for San Francisco's New Main Library 141 

XVI MORE ON ISRAEL 144 

Centrality of Israel 144 

Political Situation 145 

Arab- Israeli Relations 146 

XVII POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT 152 

Northern Californians for Good Government 152 

Democratic Party Politics 153 

Republican Candidates 157 

XVIII FAMILY 159 

Father's Influence 159 

Sons' Community Involvement 159 

Wives 160 



XIX PHILANTHROPIC DECISIONS 163 

People in Need 163 

Satisfaction Gained 164 

Inter-Religious Activity 164 

XX A LOOK TO THE FUTURE 166 

Direction of the San Francisco Jewish Community 166 

Assimilation 166 

The Federation 168 

TAPE GUIDE 169 

APPENDICES 170 

A. Report of the President presented at the annual meeting of the 172 
Jewish Community Federation, 1971. 

B. Report of the President presented at the annual meeting of the 181 
Jewish Community Federation, 1972. 

C. Remarks made by Melvin M. Swig at the annual meeting of the 189 
Young Adults' Division, December 5, 1972. 

D. 1973 Standing Committees, Jewish Community Federation. 194 

E. Jewish Community Federation Committees, 1986. 195 

F. Members, Ad Hoc Committee on "Who is a Jew," 1988. 204 

G. Endowment Committee, Jewish Community Federation, 1989. 205 
H. Executive Search Committee, Jewish Community Federation, 1990. 206 
I. Endowment Committee, Jewish Community Federation, 1990. 207 

J. "Mel Swig Heads Bulletin," San Francisco Jewish Bulletin. 208 
December 8, 1978. 

K. "Jewish leader becomes S.F. Catholic university chairman," 209 
Northern California Jewish Bulletin. July 26, 1985. 

L. "Swig gets award for endowment work," Northern California 210 
Jewish Bulletin. January 24, 1986. 

M. "Settlement Reached On Koret Foundation," San Francisco 211 
Chronicle. June 24, 1986. 

N. "The Swigs Build a Bigger Empire," San Francisco Chronicle. 212 
September 8, 1986. 

0. "Family of S.F. philanthropists get community's thanks," 216 
Northern California Jewish Bulletin. October 31, 1986. 

P. Dinner honoring the Swig-Dinner family, November 9, 1986. 217 



Q. Remarks made by Melvin M. Swig before the Anti Defamation 218 
League, June 11, 1987. 

R. "USF president Melvin M. Swig honored at testimonial," 221 

Northern California Jewish Bulletin. July 31, 1987. 

S. Honorary degree, Brown University, 1989. 222 

T. The Presiding Bishop's Committee on Christian-Jewish Relations, 223 
July 29, 1991. 

INDEX 227 



PREFACE 



The Jewish Community Federation Leadership Oral History Project was 
initiated in 1990, under the sponsorship of the Jewish Community 
Endowment Fund, to record the recent history of the Jewish Welfare 
Federation. Through oral histories with the thirteen living past 
presidents of the Federation, the project seeks to document Jewish 
philanthropy in the West Bay as spearheaded by the Federation during the 
past half -century. 

The Jewish community can take pride in the manner in which it has, 
through the years, assumed the traditional Jewish role of providing for 
the less fortunate. Organized Jewish philanthropy in San Francisco began 
in 1850 with the Eureka Benevolent Association, today's Jewish Family and 
Children's Service Agency. With the organization in 1910 of the 
Federation of Jewish Charities, the community took the major step of 
coordinating thirteen separate social service agencies. The funding of 
local services was absorbed by the Community Chest when the Federation 
affiliated with it in 1922. Soon thereafter, the need was seen for an 
organization to support the financial needs of national and overseas 
agencies. This led to the formation of the Jewish National Welfare Fund 
in 1925, which pioneered in conducting a single annual campaign for 
Jewish needs outside of San Francisco. The Federation of Jewish 
Charities and the Jewish National Welfare Fund merged in 1955, becoming 
the Jewish Welfare Federation, the forerunner of the present Jewish 
Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma 
Counties . 

This oral history project was conceived by Phyllis Cook, executive 
director of the Jewish Community Endowment Fund, and Eleanor Glaser, the 
oral historian who had just completed the oral history of Sanford M. 
Treguboff, the late executive director of the Federation. They realized 
that 1990 would be the thirty- fifth year of the Jewish Welfare Federation 
and that it was none too soon to try to capture the insights and 
experiences of the Federation's first presidents. Not only would these 
leaders be able to document the dynamic history of the Federation, but 
they could link that to the activities of several other agencies since 
all had prepared themselves for their services as Federation president by 
working in one or another capacity in the earlier Jewish charitable 
institutions. 

Thus, it was anticipated that through the recollections of these 
Federation presidents it might be also possible to understand the driving 
motivations and principles of those pioneer leaders and the forces they 
dealt with during the building of the Bay Area Jewish community. 



ii 



Phyllis Cook, in consultation with the board of directors of the 
Jewish Community Endowment Fund, worked with the Regional Oral History 
Office of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, to 
carry out the project. Direction of the project was assumed by Eleanor 
Glaser, the office research editor for Jewish history subjects. 

In the oral history process the interviewer works closely with the 
memoirist in the preliminary research and in setting up topics for 
discussion. For the Federation project, Eleanor Glaser conducted 
extensive research in the Federation Board minutes in order to determine 
critical events, committee assignments, and the pressing needs during 
each president's term of office. The interviews are informal 
conversations that are tape recorded, transcribed, edited by the 
interviewer for continuity and clarity, checked and approved by the 
interviewee, and then final typed. The oral history manuscripts are open 
to research in libraries nationwide. Copies of the Federation project 
oral histories will be available in the Federation Library; The Bancroft 
Library; the Department of Special Collections, Library, UCLA; and in 
other libraries interested in collecting source material on this subject. 

Sam Ladar, president of the Jewish Welfare Federation in 1965 and 
1966, was the first interviewee. As the initial oral history for the 
project, general Federation information such as early board minutes, 
lists of officers, etc., have been included in the Ladar volume. 
Researchers are advised to start there. 

The Regional Oral History Office was established in 1954 to record 
the lives of persons who have contributed significantly to the history of 
California and the West. The Office is administered by The Bancroft 
Library. Over the years the Office has documented a number of leaders in 
the California Jewish community. The Office is honored to have this 
opportunity to document Jewish philanthropy in the San Francisco Bay 
Area. 



Eleanor Glaser, Project Director 
Leadership of the Jewish Community 
Federation Oral History Project 



Willa Baum, Division Head 
Regional Oral History Office 



January 1992 

Regional Oral History Office 

The Bancroft Library 

University of California, Berkeley 



iii 



Jewish Community Federation Leadership Oral History Project 

Series List 



Jesse Feldman, President. Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the 
Peninsula. Marin and Sonoma Counties. 1973-1974. 1991 

Samuel A. Ladar, A Reflection on the Early Years of the San Francisco Jewish 
Community Federation. 1990 

Robert E. Sinton, President. Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the 
Peninsula. Marin and Sonoma Counties. 1967-1968. 1991 

John H. Steinhart, President. Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, 
the Peninsula. Marin and Sonoma Counties. 1969-1970 

Melvin M. Swig, President. Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the 
Peninsula. Marin and Sonoma Counties. 1971-1972 

In Process 

Jerome Braun, President. Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the 
Peninsula. Marin and Sonoma Counties. 1979-1980 

Annette R. Dobbs , President. Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the 
Peninsula. Marin and Sonoma Counties. 1988-1990 

Richard N. Goldman, President. Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, 
the Peninsula. Marin and Sonoma Counties. 1981-1982 

inces D. Green, President. Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the 
Peninsula. Marin and Sonoma Counties. 1975-1976 

Peter E. Haas, President. Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the 
Peninsula. Marin and Sonoma Counties. 1977-1978 

Ronald Kaufman, President. Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the 
Peninsula. Marin and Sonoma Counties. 1984-1986 

William I. Lowenberg, President. Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, 
the Peninsula. Marin and Sonoma Counties. 1983-1984 

Laurence Myers, President. Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the 
Peninsula. Marin and Sonoma Counties. 1986-1988 



iv 



INTRODUCTION --by Donald H. Seller 



The task of writing an introduction to the oral history of Melvin M. 
Swig and his relationship to our Jewish community seemed to be so simple 
at first. However, upon reflection, to recite his long and dedicated 
leadership, to enumerate the many areas of outstanding service he has 
rendered, or to extol the multiple virtues he possesses does not really 
do justice to what our community has been given by Mel Swig. The reading 
of this oral history will give all of you an excellent understanding of 
what he has done and how deeply it has affected our Jewish community; but 
to fully realize the depth of Mel and his feelings, you must grasp the 
intensity he brings to his endeavors. 

There is an old saying, "Life is short play hard." These simple 
words capture for me Mel's approach to almost everything. Hopefully, 
life will be long for Mel- -but playing hard really tells the story. Mel 
plays hard in all areas- -in business, in sports, in family life, in 
political life, and, most certainly, in his charitable and civic life. 
His feeling for his fellow man is constantly evident, and the depth of 
his commitment to others is constantly manifested, as it has been for his 
lifetime. His leadership and service has been outstanding in our local, 
national, and international Jewish community- -but it has been equally 
outstanding in civic affairs, educational institutions, religious 
organizations, service to the underprivileged, and many, many other 
avenues of assistance. Mel has truly "given back" to his fellow man. He 
has done it with intensity, integrity, and a tremendous amount of 
personal efforthe has truly "played hard." 

Mel Swig really needs no introduction- -but here it is anyway. I 
know you will enjoy reading the history of a true leader of our 
community. We are blessed to have him and look forward to many more 
years of his participation and guidance. As new challenges arise for us, 
both in the Jewish Community Federation and the larger world in which we 
live, it is comforting to know that we have Mel in the forefront of our 
efforts. 

On a personal level, I have grown to know and respect Mel over many 
years. I am honored to have him as a friend and very pleased to have 
this opportunity to write this introduction. 



Donald H. Seiler 



January 1992 

San Francisco, California 



INTRODUCTION --by Robert Sinton 



Why did Mel Swig ask me to do an introduction to his oral history? 
Perhaps it has to do with my being his friend for the last thirty to 
thirty- five years and also his colleague in philanthropy, fellow 
traveler, victim on the golf course (I can't remember winning), and one 
of his many admirers . 

How do I put in proper words the kind of man he is . His love of 
life comes first to mind. This characteristic has a great deal to do 
with his being the leader he is in all his many activities- -the majority 
of them have to do with helping his fellow man in the support of 
education, health and welfare, Israel, our city, our country. I'll not 
mention the many specific foundations, cultural institutions, and civic 
positions he has held for they are covered in the book to follow. 

Working with Mel has been one of the great pleasures of my life. 
His great warmth, his good mind, his sense of humor are qualities that 
come to mind. His good judgment is a reason he is sought after to 
resolve issues, give financial support, and to lead others in 
philanthropic giving. His energy is equal to that of ten average men. 

With all the above he is a strong family man, a wonderful husband 
and father. 

I'm glad to share Mel Swig with you dear reader- -read on. 

Robert Sinton 

March 16, 1992 

San Francisco, California 



vi 



INTERVIEW HISTORY- -Me Ivin M. Swig 

When the Swig family moved to San Francisco from Boston soon after 
World War II, it did not take long for the family's influence to be felt 
in the community- -in fundraising and in their personal philanthropy. 
Both Ben Swig and his son Mel were Federation presidents after serving in 
a variety of the organization's positions. 

Melvin M. Swig, who was president of the Jewish Welfare Federation 
for 1971 and 1972, is the fifth past president of the Federation to be 
interviewed for the Jewish Community Federation Leadership Oral History 
Project that documents the history of the Jewish Community Federation of 
San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties. This series of 
memoirs is sponsored by the Jewish Community Endowment Fund. 

A preliminary meeting with Mr. Swig was held in June 1991, and a 
chronology covering his almost forty years of Federation activities was 
given to him at the time of our first interview. In total, five 
interview sessions, from mid- July to mid-November, were held in his 
office. 

Mr. Swig's firm, Swig Weiler and Dinner Development Company, takes 
up an entire floor in the Mills Tower in the San Francisco financial 
district. Only phone calls from Mrs. Swig were taken during the 
interviews, which lasted approximately one and one -half hours each. 
During the period of the interviews, Charlotte M. Swig was chief of 
protocol for the city of San Francisco, and she and Mel Swig were co- 
chairs of fundraising for the new main public library. Documents and 
photographs for inclusions in Mel Swig's volume were obtained from his 
secretary, Lauren Brown, who searched through files for them. 

At the time of the preliminary meeting, I asked Mr. Swig for the 
names of people to whom I should talk for information regarding his 
community involvement. Those he suggested were: past Federation 
presidents William Lowenberg and Robert E. Sinton, as well as the current 
president, Donald H. Seller; businessmen Gerson Bakar and Barney Osher; 
Father Lo Sciavo, recently retired president of the University of San 
Francisco; Bishop William E. Swing and Dean Alan Jones of Grace 
Cathedral. A reading of these names indicates the breadth of Mr. Swig's 
philanthropy, interests, and friendships. 

Mel Swig is very involved in Democratic politics and is considered a 
key person to contact, by phone or in person, by local and national 
politicians looking for votes and financial support in San Francisco. He 
is equally involved in fundraising for his community and for Israel. He 
is a passionate supporter of Israel; it is close to his heart. There 



Vll 



were three areas that caused Mr. Swig to speak with great emotion: his 
family, when talking about Israel's enemies, and the enthusiasm expressed 
for Brown University. One senses that Mel Swig is never half-hearted 
about anything. 

Mr. Swig's memoirs cover the wide -range of his Federation activities 
from his earliest involvement, his presidency, and the role he played in 
the subsequent years. In addition, he discusses philanthropy and his 
involvement in the general community. 

The edited transcripts of his interviews were submitted to Mr. Swig 
for his review, which he returned with just a few minor corrections in 
record time. At Mel Swig's suggestion, his friends and fellow Federation 
leaders, Robert Sinton and Donald Seiler, were asked to write 
introductions to the volume. We appreciate their response to this 
request. 



Eleanor Glaser 
Interviewer- Editor 



May 1992 

Regional Oral History Office 

The Bancroft Library 

University of California, Berkeley 



viii 

Regional Oral History Office University of California 

Room 486 The Bancroft Library Berkeley, California 94720 

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION 
(Please write clearly. Use black ink.) 

Your full name flj f J V I )J f*\ C 



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*"J 



Date of birth ~7til7 _ Birthplace t^h^- M fl * 

Father's full name ^ A/A/f^H t ^ A^f^/^J <>L ^ 5n/ / 4 



Occupat ion ;dr j l<> ti* fa L - Birthplace 

~~ 
Mother's full name fllA faz i f^C> U > 



Occupation - -- _ Birthplace 

Your spouse C 



X^ (~\ . - X 

Your children 3>/fx.M?>ti ,-jTL^ bt fj^ ( 



Where did you grow up? tx tfj. 
Present community 



Education 



Occupation(s) 






Areas of expertise 



Other interests or activities 



7? A^ 7 






Organizations in which you are active 



ix 
MELVIN M. SWIG - BIOGRAPHIC DATA 



Date of Birth: July 31, 1917 

Place of Birth: Boston, Massachusetts 

Residence: Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco 

Wife: Charlotte Mailliard Swig 

Children: Steven, Kent, Robert 

Business Affiliation: Vice-chairman of the Board, Fairmont Htel 

Management Company 
Chairman of the Board, Swig Weiler and 

Dinner Development Company 



PROFESSIONAL AND CIVIC AFFILIATIONS 
PRESENT 

\merican Assoc. Ben-Gurion University Board of Directors 

\nti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith Member Regional Board; 

Honorary Member National Commission 

Vtalanta Sosnof f Board of Directors 

Bay Area Council Board of Directors 

3oy Scouts of America Advisory Council 

Brandeis University Trustee 

Brown University Trustee 

Civilian Advisory Committee (Presidio) 

Department of the Army Board of Directors 

Columbia Park Boys' Club Board of Directors 

Commonwealth Club Board of Directors 

Srace Cathedral Trustee 

Jewish Community Federation Board of Directors 

<oret Foundation Board of Directors 

Stanford University Jewish Studies Advisory Board 

Jnited Negro College Fund Advisory Board 

Jnited Service Organizations (USO) World Board of Governors 

Jniversity of San Francisco Chairman, Board of Trustees 

PAST 

\merican Friends of Haifa University Board of Trustees 

\merican Jewish Committee National Board of Trustees 

\merican Jewish Joint Distribution Comm Executive Committee 

\merican Jewish Joint Distribution Committee . Board of Directors 

California Association for ACT President, Board of Director 

Crescent Porter Hale Foundation President 

faster Seal Campaign Chairman, 1963 

Jewish Community Federation President 

Jewish Family Service Agency Board of Directors; Vice Pr 

L^ake Merced Golf and Country Club President 

fount Zion Hospital and Medical Center V.P. Board of Directors 

Rational Conference of Christians & Jews Board of Directors 

San Francisco City and County Grand Jury Foreman, 1969 

San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Vice President 

San Francisco City Parking Corp President, Board of Directc 

San Francisco Housing Authority Commissioner 

San Francisco International Film Festival. .. .Chairman, 1965 

San Francisco Jewish Bulletin President, Board of Directc 



idei 



3an Francisco Life Insurance Company Member of the Board and Trc 



s 



s 
surei 



CHRONOLOGY-- Me Ivin M. Swig 

1952 Elected to Federation board. 

1953 Co-chairman, Business and Professional Division of campaign. 

1955 Re-elected to Federation board. 

1956 General chairman, Israel Bonds drive. 
1959 Chairman, campaign. 

1961 Mission to Europe to observe immigration problems, with John 

Steinhart and Marshall Kuhn. 
Budget and fundraising committees. 

1962 Chairman, budget committee; fundraising committee. As budget 

chairman, overriding consideration at budget meetings was action 
taken at Federation board meeting of 11/9/61 that UJA should not 
be placed in position of being residue from which increases to 
other agencies are taken. 

1963 Fundraising committee; chairman, Advance Gifts. 

1964 Budget committee. 

1965 Assistant treasurer, vice-chairman of finance and administration. 

1966 Assistant treasurer, vice chairman of finance and administration, 

budget committee. 

1967 Treasurer, chairman of finance and administration. 

1968 Board vice-president, executive committee, finance and 

administration, vice-chairman budget committee. 

1969 Board vice-president, chairman public relations, Federation 

representative to Jewish Bulletin, finance and administration, 
Federation member on joint Federation/Maimonides committee to 
review funds accruing to Maimonides. One-half already given to 
Home for Jewish Aged when Maimonides closed; Federation trustee 
for balance . 

1970 Board vice-president, reported on UJA study mission to Israel 

including experiences at Suez Canal. Director, San Francisco 
Jewish Bulletin. 



xi 



1971 PRESIDENT. Reports to board re sit-in by group of thirty-five 

college students from Friday a.m. to Saturday p.m., demand 
immediate support for Jewish education and public debate on Jewish 
education. Contested election, statements circulated re way 
Federation allocates funds. Petition submitted for ten 
candidates, but didn't have required 250 signatures. 

1972 PRESIDENT. Announces need for capital funds drive last one in 1960. 

Notes decrease in UJA share of overall campaign receipts. "As 
long as our campaign continues to grow, the allocations to all 
agencies can be increased without seriously jeopardizing funds 
available to Israel. Therefore need to increase sums raised in 
annual campaign. 

1973 John Steinhart's commendation to out-going President Swig: on 

executive committee of UJA, national commission of Ant i- Defamation 
League, national board of American Jewish Committee. Dealt with 
problems of Jewish day schools. Chairman, executive committee, 
chairman, Advance Division. 

1974 Chairman, executive committee. Appointed honorary director so can 

remain on board; on by-laws revision. American Jewish Committee's 
Human Relations Award. Trustee, Brandeis University. 

1975 Vice-chairman capital funds campaign, on finance and administration, 

allocations review committee for capital funds; three year term on 
San Francisco Jewish Bulletin. Legal suit by Hebrew Academy. 
By-laws; past presidents honorary directors ten years, can vote. 

1976 On new standing committee; Jewish Community Endowment Fund, Marshall 

Kuhn director. 

1977 Re-elected Federation representative to Bulletin, three year term. 

Finance committee. 

1978 President, San Francisco Jewish Co muni tv Bulletin. 

1980 Capital funds, endowment fund, fundraising committees. 

1981 Capital funds, fundraising. 

1982 Committee for new Federation building, capital funds, fundraising, 

new chairman of Jewish Community Endowment Fund for five years. 



xii 



1983 Committees: fundraising, ex officio philanthropic fund advisory 

committee, officio planning and budget, building investment, 
executive, capital funds, overseas, ad hoc committee on Jewish 
education- -to study direction an magnitude of Federation's 
allocations to Jewish education institutions and evaluate 
desirability of this funding pattern. Also, should have 
long-range study of Jewish education? 

Endowment fund to have two -phase grant process because of large 
capital funds outlay from corpus to Home, Schulz Center, day 
schools and maybe new building. New policy: Federation proposals 
must go to executive committee first before going to full 
endowment committee for approval . Three subcommittees : culture 
and public affairs, education and youth, family and health care. 
Newhouse Foundation turned over to endowment fund. 

1984 With L. Myers, R. Kaufman, and B. Lurie, met with UJA/CJF leaders at 

quarterly meeting. Asked to wait before visiting other cities to 
present Federation's concerns re Jewish Agency. 



1988 Federation board, chairman of endowment fund development, 
of ad hoc committee on "Who is a Jew." 



Chairman 



1989 Executive committee, capital funds committee, vice-chairman, 
Endowment Development. 



I THE SWIG FAMILY 
[Interview 1: July 9, 1991 J//// 1 

Aronovitz and Swig Relatives 



Glaser: I want to ask you about your great - gr andparents , because you told 
me that you knew them when they were in their nineties. 

Swig: All four of them were, on both sides, and I remember them only 

with a vision of having known them and having seen them. I can't 
even identify where I did see them. I can remember the room, but 
I can't remember their faces. 

[tape interruption] 
Glaser: Tell me about your maternal grandparents. 

Swig: My maternal grandparents, I believe, came to this country about 
the middle to late 1870' s. I think they were from Kiev, or in 
that general area, although I'm not sure. My grandfather was in 
the furniture manufacturing business. I don't know what business 
he was in prior to that, but when I remember him that's what he 
was doing. 

Glaser: What was the family name? 

Swig: The family name was Aronovitz. My grandmother's name was Ida, and 
my grandfather's name was Hyman. Matter of fact, in their later 
life they lived on a street called Gibbs Street in Boston, which 
was the same street that the Kennedys lived on. Joe Kennedy lived 
on that street and John Kennedy, who was my age, lived and was 
brought up on that street, although I didn't know him. 

Glaser: Would there have been any interaction between the two families? 
Swig: No, there was none to my knowledge. 



] This symbol (//#) indicates that a tape or segment of tape has begun 
or ended. For a guide to the tapes, see the end of this transcript. 



Glaser: The Irish didn't talk to the Jews? 

Swig: [laughter] Yes, they did talk to the Jews, of course they did, and 
my grandfather was very good friends with many of the Irish 
politicians of that day. Dan Coakley, for instance, my 
grandfather's friend in politics was an extremely good friend, and 
his son Gael was a good friend of my father's. So Irish did talk 
to the Jews in those days. Although I'd get beaten up on by the 
Irish kids in my day, but I stopped that by fighting back and 
beating up on a few of them. That kind of stopped that nonsense. 



But my maternal grandparents were lovely people. My 
grandmother was about five foot tall. My grandfather might have 
been 5*4", 5 '5", or 5 '6", or something like that. Not a big man. 
Nice man, very quiet person. We celebrated many Passover Seders 
at their home. They lived about two blocks from the synagogue 
where I had my bar mitzvah and attended services in that 
particular synagogue. 

Glaser: Were they married in this country? 

Swig: Yes, I believe so. 

Glaser: Were they born in this country? 

Swig: No, they were not born in this country. They came over quite 

young from I think the Kiev area. And there were seven children. 
There were six girls and one boy. And I still have the youngest, 
my Aunt Miriam. She's four years older than I am. She came late 
in life. She's still alive. I talked to her this morning. 

Glaser: Still in the Boston area? 

Swig: She lives down the Cape in Boston. I've forgotten the name of the 
town. Her husband is ninety and she is going to be seventy-eight 
next month, and they are getting along fine. In fact, my wife and 
I visited with them the end of May and spent a night in their 
house, just this year. She is doing just fine, although at ninety 
he's slipping a little bit. 

The daughters were quite musical. When they were young they 
used to have concerts in their house. One of the girls played the 
bass viol. Another girl played the piano. My mother was a 
concert violinist. She wasn't at that time but became one. And 
they used to have their trios play, and the mother and the father - 
-and I have a picture at home showing itwould be sitting there 
and the girls would be playing. It was all very nice. 




Benjamin H. Swig (second from right, front row) and 
his family, circa 1903. 



Glaser: Did they work after they graduated from high school or was that 
not done at that time? 

Swig: I don't believe they did. I don't think they did. My mother said 
in those days they didn't allow women in the symphony orchestras, 
only men. But there was a Jordan Hall in Boston, still very well 
known and very famous. And she played in that orchestra at Jordan 
Hall. There was a famous band leader by the name of Leo Reisman, 
who played society- type music in New York. And my mother's claim 
to fame was she was the first fiddle and he was second fiddle. So 
that always pleased her very much. 

But I remember her playing when I was a young kid, a young 
kid being three, four, five years old. And then, for some reason, 
she gave it up. She loved music and she adored it. She went to 
symphonies regularly. In fact, all the girls loved their music 
and attended Symphony Hall. None of them, however, ever made a 
career out of it. The closest, I guess, that anyone came to it 
was my Aunt Gert, a younger sister to my mother. Her husband had 
a very fine voice and sang, and she used to accompany him on the 
piano. He used to do concerts once in a while. 

Glaser: Was this a close family? 

Swig: Very. Very close. 

Glaser: Did you do a lot of things with the family? 

Swig: Yes. I can remember one summer at a beach outside of Boston with 
my Aunt Flora, the oldest sister, and my mother, whose name was 
Mae. We took a house together for the summer, July and August I 
guess it was. And we did that regularly. My cousin Ruthie, a 
girl who is twenty- five days younger than I am, and I were 
together. We were more like brother and sister than cousins. We 
were that close. In fact when I was about fourteen or fifteen I 
belonged to a fraternity in high school, and I wasn't allowed to 
take out girls because I was too young. But the fraternity had a 
dance so I'd take my cousin to the dance. She was my date. And 
to this day we are very close. Ruthie lives in Long Island and 
has lived there for must be forty- five years or more. We see each 
other regularly in New York when I go there . We talk to each 
other on the phone. We love each other dearly. 

Glaser: You sound like someone who has strong family feelings, 
[tape interruption] 

Swig: Anyway, our relationship was very good, very close, and very warm 
and still is. As I told you, my aunt who lives in Boston, down 



Glaser 



Swig: 



Glaser 
Swig: 
Glaser; 
Swig: 



the Cape in Boston, is only four years older, so the three of us 
were thrown together a great deal. And the sisters were as close 
as any sisters could be, all of them. Miriam, this youngest one, 
is many years younger than the rest of the family, so she was like 
another cousin and was thrown together with us. 

My grandmother, of course, was the matriarch of the family 
on my mother's side. A strong woman who ran things with a strong 
iron fist and was a great influence on the whole family and a 
wonderful, brilliant influence. 

Was your family as close to your father's family as to your 
mother's family? 

No, I wouldn't think so, because you know the mothers tend to have 
more of an influence in that regard than do fathers . But we were 
close on my father's side, and I used to see my uncles and aunts 
regularly. I spent time alone with my grandparents on my 
father's side. 

Tell me their names please. 

Simon Swig and Fanny. 

Tell me first about Fanny. What was she like? 

Well, she was a fairly large woman, tall, not a terribly 
attractive woman. A very nice person, quiet, good cook. My 
grandfather used to play pinochle and he was a dominant 
individual. So she'd have the people over on Sundays, and the 
family would come over, and everybody would sit around and play 
cards, which my grandfather dearly loved, as did his sons. She 
kept the family very well together. 

As I say, I spent time alone with her and my grandfather at 
their home, both the one in Hull outside of Boston and the one 
that they had in another part later in life. I was then about 
thirteen or fourteen. And I spent a couple of weeks with them, I 
remember, down there. I remember my grandfather beating me in 
checkers. [laughter] The guy was a wiz. I thought I was really 
good but he would knock me out. In a few plays I was gone, he was 
that good. He loved to play pinochle. I learned to play 
pinochle, of course, with him and my father and this gentleman who 
was a great influence on my father, Joe Ford. Joe loved pinochle 
too. So I was brought up in the game of pinochle. In Boston we 
played it a lot. I don't see it much elsewhere, or at least 
around here . 



Joe Ford 



Glaser: What kind of an influence did Joe Ford have on the family? 

Swig: Well, Joe and his wife, whose name was Clara, were born in the old 
country, came here quite young. He started a manufacturing 
company that made inexpensive ladies' underwear sold to places 
like Grant, Woolworth, Kresge, Sears, and places like that. It 
did a tremendous business and had a fine reputation. He was the 
kind of man who loved people. 

He had no children. He put more children through college 
than any person you've ever heard of, mostly children of his 
employees. He treated them like part of his family. I remember 
during the 1939 World's Fair in New York he closed down the plant, 
took everybody by bus, took them all to New York. I think they 
spent a week at the World's Fair in New York, and they came back 
and went back to work. That was the kind of a man he was. 
Interestingly enough, they were never unionized because he paid 
them more than the unions would pay them. So they never 
unionized. They loved and worshipped this man like a god. 

He treated everyone like an individual , and this was also 
true in his charitable giving. He taught my father, I'm sure, 
much about charity. My father was a charitable person, obviously, 
but this man was in a class by himself. He was this unusual 
individual . 

Incidentally, he and my father were two of the founding 
fathers of Brandeis University. Brandeis, as you know, is just 
outside of Boston, the next town to where I was brought up, in 
Newton. It was called Middlesex Medical School, and it was a 
flop. It wasn't an accredited school. That campus became 
available right after World War II. In 1948, the same year that 
Israel was founded, so was Brandeis University founded. And two 
of the founding fathers were Ben Swig, living here in San 
Francisco, and Joe Ford living in Boston. And both were on the 
board until my father left the board early. But Joe was on the 
board until he died at age ninety- three. I succeeded my father on 
that board and still am on it. I don't go to very many meetings 
these days, but I am still on that board. We have a very soft 
and warm spot in our hearts for Brandeis, obviously. 

And this guy Ford was one of those people who turned people 
on with his charitable affairs and did a lot. He gave money to 
Tufts. He gave money to Northeastern, Brandeis. A little bit to 



Harvard, not much. But those are the things that he was 
interested in. And, of course, Jewish affairs. 



Simon SWJE and His Children 



Glaser: Let's go back and talk about your grandfather, Simon Swig. 

Swig: Incidentally, I have a new grandson. He's a little over a month 
old. His name is Simon. 

Glaser: How nice, and Mazel Tov. 

Swig: My son who lives in New York just had this child a little over a 
month ago, June 5th, and named him Simon. I happened to have had 
a few things in my house that I took back. One written in 1905 by 
Simon Swig that says "With Affection, Simon Swig". And it's a 
book having to do with his days in the legislature in Boston. I 
brought it to the new Simon so that someday he'll be able to see 
that, among some other things. I had pictures of my grandfather 
with Calvin Coolidge. He'll have that. 

My grandfather was quite a character. He came to this 
country in 1876. Carried a pack on his back door -to -door to earn 
a living. Married Fanny when he was, I think, eighteen. They had 
eleven children, eight boys and three girls. My father was the 
seventh child. My grandfather developed into a legislator in 
Massachusetts. He was president of a bank in Boston. He was very 
well-known, very well -respected, and very well -liked generally in 
the community. I remember when he died, in 1939 I believe it was, 
on my birthday. 

Glaser: He died on your birthday? 

Swig: On my birthday in 1939. His death was announced over the radio 
and the newspapers in Boston, New York and everywhere; he was 
acclaimed. He was quite a large civic individual in 
Massachusetts, and he ran a good bank. He was so progressive, 
however, and being the only Jewish banker around in those days, he 
was not looked upon with favor by other bankers. I don't know the 
politics of the situation; I was too young to know about it. 
Somehow or another the other bankers established a run on the 
bank. My grandfather paid off a hundred cents on the dollar, that 
I know. And was closed, unfortunately. I know he was crushed by 
this and never really rebounded well after that. 

Glaser: But he was very active politically. 



Swig: Politically he had been very active. Of course by that time he 
was in his sixties when this happened, and in those days people 
didn't rebound in their sixties like they do today. Somehow or 
another he was in the insurance business, and he just never really 
did a lot thereafter. Incidentally, he had a beautiful home in 
Roxbury, Massachusetts right down the street from where I was 
born. He had collections of old estate things, and he enjoyed and 
liked that. He had things in that home that were simply 
magnificent. And in that big home he had down in Hull he used to 
have clambakes for all his political friends. As a matter of 
fact, just recently somebody who called me, or wrote me a letter, 
from Boston, had heard that my grandfather had collected some 
things from the Lawson estate way back. And I remembered that 
because I remembered seeing some of it in encrusted insignias. I 
turned them over to a cousin of mine who is older than I am, and 
she recalls enough of it to help this man out, talking about the 
Lawson estate. So it was pretty well known that he was a pretty 
good collector. He was a remarkable guy and quite a wonderful 
man. 

Glaser: Tell me about some of your father's siblings. 

Swig: Okay. The oldest was Louis Swig and Uncle Lou was a lawyer and 
judge in Taunton, Massachusetts, where they lived. His oldest 
son, his only son, Irving, lives in Hawaii today. Retired. 
Irving is at least a couple of years older than I am. He had an 
older sister, Sydell, who passed away some years ago of cancer. 
And a younger sister also passed away just a couple of years ago 
from cancer. So Irving is the only one living out of that side of 
the family, plus their children. At least of my generation he's 
the only one. There were three children. But Louis was a very 
well -respected, highly- regarded individual who died, 
unfortunately, very young. He had brain cancer and he died. I 
think he was only forty-nine years old, but by that time he had 
accomplished much in his life. 

Another guy in the family, an older brother of my dad's, was 
a fellow named Hyman, a dentist. He gave up his practice when 
prohibition went out and formed a new company and went into the 
wholesale liquor business. Represented Seagrams and other brands, 
I guess, until he died. He died before my father did, several 
years. I can't remember when exactly. He was in his late 
seventies when he passed away. 

Another brother, Hirsch, was in the real estate business. 
Younger than my dad. Very sound, very good business man. Lovely 
guy, full of hell. Active politically, not running for office, 






but in his activities and support of candidates he was a very 
active guy in Boston. 

Glaser: Did they all remain Republicans like their father? 

Swig: No, Hirsch was a Democrat I think. My father was a Republican 
until 1952, although I know he voted for Roosevelt. But he 
registered until 1952 as a Republican. The others, I really don't 
know, I imagine they were Republican. But, I think they voted 
for Roosevelt when he came in; but most people did in those days. 
My grandfather had an idiosyncracy. He named the tail end of his 
children-- Let's see there was Howard Roosevelt, Hirsch McKinley 
[laughter] after the president, my father's name was Benjamin 
Harrison after the president, George Dewey after Admiral Dewey. I 
think that was it. Those were the political names that my 
grandfather picked for his children. 

Glaser: And the female names? 

Swig: Females were not named politically. And the older ones- -Louis and 
Hyman and Izzy and Eddie- -all those brothers were not named for 
politicians. I think probably my father might have been the first 
one, and the rest of them below him were. 

Glaser: Do you get the feeling that immigrants were more American than 
Americans? 

Swig: Oh, I'm sure they were. They had to prove, the Americans didn't. 
They were. 

Glaser: That's right. And very civic minded I would think. 

Swig: Very civic minded. My grandfather, as I say, was a very active 
political guy and a very active civic guy. 

Glaser: Now tell me about your father. Where was he educated? 

Swig: He was born in Taunton, Massachusetts, and went through high 

school in Taunton. He sold newspapers on a train from Taunton to 
Providence . 

Glaser: That sounds like Thomas Edison. 

Swig: Somewhat like it. They all used to wear newspapers in their shoes 
to keep them from getting soaked. They were poor. You know, 
eleven children in those days, that was a lot. But my grandfather 
did pretty well. As I say, he came in with a pack on his back and 
then progressed through all these various things and later on 
became president of the bank. My father went one year to college, 



I think it was Suffolk University, and then joined the bank. At 
age twenty- three, he became the youngest treasurer of a bank in 
the country at that time. I don't know whether it's since or not 
but at least at that time. He was very good, and he was very 
astute. An interesting story- -you've heard of the Ponzi scheme? 

Glaser: Yes. 

Swig: There's a book somewhere--! have it but I haven't located it yet. 
I want to give it to my grandson. My grandfather was one of those 
who exposed Ponzi. He wasn't the only one. But Ponzi came to his 
bank, and my grandfather was suspicious of what he saw and what 
was going on and reported it to someone. And part of the evidence 
given by my grandfather caused Ponzi to be apprehended. 

Glaser: What was the Ponzi scheme? 

Swig: The Ponzi scheme was that I have this piece of metal and I sell it 
to you for a dollar. And then I take it to somebody else and sell 
it for a dollar, and to somebody else and so forth. You keep 
adding on. You get the dollar from the first guy, and you go to 
the second guy and you pyramid it. And there is no substance 
behind it. 

Glaser: Was it selling or was it investing? 

Swig: I think it was probably investing. Yes, it was investing. And 

you keep pyramiding it. It's called the Ponzi scheme to this day. 
He was the initiator of that scheme. What he did with my 
grandfather I can't tell you; I don't remember. But my 
grandfather became suspicious of him and turned him over to the 
proper authorities. They already, I guess, had some record on him 
but this helped to expose him. It was written up in some journal 
or some book about him doing this and it's a matter of public 
record. My grandfather was in the bank at that time when he did 
it, and he exposed Mr. Ponzi and his scheme and helped to get him 
convicted. 



Benlamin Swig's Businesses 



Glaser: When your grandfather gave up the banking business, or it gave him 
up, what did your father do? 

Swig: My father went into the real estate business and became a partner 
in the firm called Henry W. Savage Company at 1333 Beacon Street 
in Brookline, Massachusetts. He was very successful in his 



10 



business. He was in with two men, one by the name of Curtis the 
other by the name of Tucker. They just did very well in their 
business. They were a very highly- regarded, successful firm. 
Then along came the Depression and the Depression hit everybody 
very, very hard. The real estate business stopped almost totally. 
There was just nothing doing. 

My father left the real estate business after a while, when 
he couldn't make any money at it. He lost everything in the stock 
market at the crash of '29, he and all his family, and opened up a 
store. It was a forerunner of what we now call a discount house 
today. It wasn't quite as stark as the so-called Price Clubs that 
we see, but it was that type of thing. A little more refined than 
that, but not much. It had clothing, it had hardware, homeware, a 
supermarket, drugs, soda fountain type of food. 

Glaser: Were these concessions? 
Swig: They were all concessions. 



Swig: It was called the Giant Store and was in Lowell, Massachusetts. 

It was an old mill building that had gone out of business when all 
the mills in New England went south and left great unemployment 
and real serious problems in each of those cities. Lowell, 
Lawrence, Have rhill- -all those places were severely damaged 
economically by the movement south. The building was a relatively 
new mill building, but it was still an older building. It was 
remodelled and fixed up and made into a store. It had parking in 
the back, and it was the type of building that we now take for 
granted around here, but in those days it was quite novel. 

The store was moderately successful. It was a living, and 
that's about all. But for the Depression, when people were 
raising families on thirteen and fourteen dollars a week, you know 
things were real tough. On one of the floors in the upper part of 
the building, I remember, they used to have WPA [Works Progress 
Administration] working there. You don't know what WPA is do you? 

Glaser: Oh yes I do. 

Swig: WPA was working a whole floor. They were selling aprons, I think, 
ladies aprons, or cotton goods of some sort. Putting them 
together. And they were paid- -that's why I remember them-- 
fourteen dollars a week that those ladies were making at that 
time. And incidentally, it's not a bad idea for today if we put 
some more people to work instead of letting them sit home and do 



11 



nothing while they're getting the money. That's another story. 
But the store was moderately successful and made a living, and we 
stayed there until we moved out here in 1946. 

Glaser: Then it must have been more than moderately successful. 

Swig: Well, it did quite well but it changed and we'll get into that 

later after you ask me more about my personal life because I was 
involved in the store later on. 



12 



II EARLY YEARS IN BOSTON 



Born July 31. 1917 



Glaser: All right. Let's talk about your education and your early years. 
And tell me about your siblings. 

Swig: I started out being raised until about age four or five in 
Roxbury, Massachusetts, where I was born. We lived in an 
apartment . 

Glaser: I thought you told me you were born in Boston. 

Swig: That is Boston. It's a section of Boston called Roxbury. I was 
born in a hospital somewhere in Boston, I don't know where. I 
probably was told, but it's long since gone so I never did see it 
Raised in this town, suburb, part of the city of Boston where my 
grandfather lived up the street not far away. Where my 
grandfather, incidentally, caused to be built an Orthodox 
synagogue called the Crawford Street Synagogue. I was born on 
Crawford Street, number twenty -two. I told you I could remember 
numbers; I can't remember names. 

Then we moved to a section of Boston called Jamaica Plain. 
There we lived for a couple of years, I guess. It was at that 
time, and living in that house, that the bank closed. Then we 
moved to a place called Brighton, another suburb of Boston, 
another section. There, Betty, my sister, was born in 1923. I 
was in grammar school there, at that time. 

Shortly thereafter we moved back to another part of Jamaica 
Plain, right down the street from a very well-known mayor by the 
name of James Michael Curley, with whose kids I played when I was 
a youngster. And it was there, in that period, that my brother 
Richard was born in 1925 . 

Incidentally, Joe Alioto's present wife, Kathleen, was 
brought up a block and a half away from that particular part of 



13 



Jamaica Plain many years later. And today we talk about it. 
lived a street over and a half a block up. Interesting. 



She 



As I said, Curley lived at the head of the street facing what 
is called Jamaica Pond, a well known pond in the suburb of Boston. 
And his kids, a couple of them were close to my age and we played 
together as kids. A very sad part of that family is that most of 
the kids died very young: were killed in accidents, one thing or 
another, illness. I don't think there are too many of them, if 
any, left. He was the famous mayor who became a congressman who 
served his congressional term, in part, in jail. 

Glaser: He was supposed to have been quite a character. 

Swig: He was quite a character, [chuckles] Not the most honest guy in 
the world. My grandfather, incidentally, was a very close friend 
of a man by the name of Coakley, Dan Coakley. And Dan Coakley was 
the politician who was not a very good friend of Mr. Curley, and 
therefore my grandfather was not a very good friend of his. It's 
interesting how later on we lived near each other. 

Glaser: Well, if your grandfather was not a friend of Mayor Curley, did 
things happen to you? 

Swig: No. 

Glaser: He was very powerful, wasn't he? 

Swig: Yes, powerful but not that powerful. I can't tell you what the 
implications were because I was too young to know. 

Glaser: And you mentioned the Kennedys also. 

Swig: Well the Kennedys lived near my grandmother in a town called 

Brookline, Massachusetts. Which is a suburb of Boston, not a part 
of Boston. It was an independent town. And they lived on a 
street called Gibbs Street. Joseph Kennedy lived nearby and John 
Kennedy, who was my age, lived in that house with his folks 
although I didn't know him at that time. I knew him much later on 
when he was senator and then president. I didn't know them at 
that time . Although he was my age , we never bumped into each 
other. He went to Harvard. I went to Brown. We had nothing to 
do with each other and never saw each other. Much later on we 
met, but that's just a coincidence that they happened to live on 
the same street. And the Irishmen do talk to the Jews as I 
mentioned about Coakley. But that Irishman didn't talk to many 
Jews I believe. [laughter] 



14 



The Coakleys were dear friends of my family, my grandfather 
starting out. And Gael Coakley, the son of Dan, was a good friend 
of my father's until the day that he died. They were powerful 
political folks, the Coakleys, and very well known too, even 
though they opposed Mr. Curley. Anyway, that is the background of 
their political life around Boston and the association with the 
Kennedys, which was not an association. 

Glaser: We were talking before this about you and your siblings. There's 
quite an age difference. Did that keep you from being close? 

Swig: I was not as close to them as they were close. They were two 
years apart and I was six years and eight years older, so you 
know, you don't have as much in common. We were close, obviously, 
but not to the same extent that they were close. Because of the 
age difference. I was in school when they were born. I was in 
high school when they were in grammar school. I was in college 
when they were still in grammar school. And so you know it's 
quite a swing. 



Education 



Glaser: Tell me about your religious training and your schooling. 

Swig: I was bar mitzvah and went to Hebrew School under difficulty. 

There was no temple; we were living in Newton. That was before 
they had a temple; they have them now. I had to go a long way to 
Hebrew School and get training for my bar mitzvah. My mother's 
parents were Orthodox and we had a kosher home until I was about 
fourteen. But my grandmother finally got religion and decided we 
didn't have to do it anymore. So I had that kind of atmosphere in 
my upbringing. 

I went to grammar school in the Boston area until the sixth 
grade, when we moved to Newton. Newton is another suburb of 
Boston and an independent city, called the Garden City. Beautiful 
homes, lovely place, good area. We moved there in 1927, I was 
then ten. I was in the sixth grade, or fifth grade I guess. I 
went through grammar school and then Newton High School and then 
went to Brown University from high school. I was only a fair 
student. I was much more interested in athletics. I played on 
the football team, I was on the track team, I was on the baseball 
team, and that sort of thing. That was far more important to me 
than studying, I guess. 

Glaser: Did you win letters? Did they give out letters in your school? 



15 



Swig: Yes. I sure did. Yes. And I was a pretty good athlete. I made 
all -scholastic team in football and that sort of thing. You know 
when you get home from football you're pretty tired, pretty hard- 
workout, and it's hard to stay up and study and work. 

Glaser: But did you have favorite classes and subjects? 

Swig: Yes. In spite of what I've told you, I had three years of Latin 
and four years of French, English subjects of course, and history. 
I took all the courses. I wasn't particularly good at them, but 
I did well enough. My Latin teacher, one of them, was a teacher 
by the name of Johnson who was terrific. I used to like him. I 
had a math teacher, and math was one of my pretty good subjects, 
by the name of Tommy Walters. He was the golf coach. Tommy 
Walters. Actually, I remember two very good English teachers. 
One was Miss Weatherly, and then my senior year I had a wonderful 
English teacher by the name of Smith, and she really turned me on. 
But I worked hard in my senior year because I had to get ready to 
go to college, and I had to turn it on a little bit. So I studied 
a little harder and did a little better. 

Glaser: Because of the Depression years, did you have to work when you 
went to college or was your family at that point prosperous? 

Swig: I worked both in high school and college. I used to sell 

magazines door -to -door and shovel snow and do anything I could to 
get a few bucks because we didn't have very much money. My 
father, I think I told you, lost his home in 1932 and we moved 
from pillar to post in that general area of Newton where I lived. 
And so if I needed any money, or wanted any money, I had to go out 
and sell the magazines or shovel snow. 

We used to get fifty cents to seventy- five cents to shovel 
big driveways and front walks. That was a lot of money for us. 
So we did that, and I'd get some commission, I've forgotten what 
it is now, for selling subscriptions to magazines like Good 
Housekeeping and that sort of thing. 

In college I washed dishes and waited on table to make a 
living. And that was worth a big sum of seven dollars and fifty 
cents a week, but I got my meals for free so I didn't pay the 
seven- fifty. I had a little dry cleaning route on the side, and I 
made a few bucks shooting crap. [laughter] Wherever I could find 
a dollar. 

Glaser: Let me go back to your high school days. What was your social 
life then? 



16 



Swig: 



Glaser: 
Swig: 

Glaser: 
Swig: 

Glaser: 
Swig: 



Glaser 
Swig: 
Glaser 
Swig: 



Kind of quiet. I wasn't allowed to go out up until age sixteen. 
I belonged to a high school fraternity and we used to have our 
fraternity dances and my cousin Ruthie, my mother's sister's 
daughter who was my age , was my date up until the time I was 
sixteen. And I had another cousin on my fathers side, Barbara 
Swig, who used to be a date on occasion too. 

You make it sound as if your parents were very strict with you. 

Well, they were strict in that regard. But that wasn't terribly 
unusual in those days. People were more strict and didn't allow 
kids out socializing until they were fifteen, sixteen years old. 
In my case it was sixteen. 

You probably didn't have much money for that anyway. 

I didn't have any money then or later. [laughter] So I couldn't 
do too much anyway. 

Tell me why you chose Brown University. 

My high school football coach went to Brown. An interesting 
thing, I had a possibility of a scholarship at USC [University of 
Southern California] and I said, "California? Three thousand 
miles away?" In those days, you know, that was so far away. I 
hadn't been out of Boston, I don't think. So I turned that down 
quickly, and I had another chance at North Carolina State, I think 
it was. But my high school coach worked on me. He was what they 
call a Brown Ironman, which was the 1926 football team. And he 
said, "Come on down. I want you to meet Tuss McLaughery, the 
coach, and I'll introduce you to the dean of admissions, Bruce 
Bigelow." And so I did. 

My marks weren't as good as they should have been so the dean 
said, "You'll have to take college boards," which was like an SAT 
type thing in those days that you may remember. So I said, "Okay, 
I'll work on it." I went to a cram school. I studied and I 
worked my butt off, and I passed my exams and did okay, and they 
accepted me at Brown. So I went to Brown and loved it, enjoyed it 
very much. 

What was Providence like in those days? 

Not too damn much different from what it is today. [laughter] 



What is it like today? 

Well, Providence is a mill town, was a mill town, 
manufacturing town as well, costume -type jewelry. 



It's a jewelry 
It was a pretty 



17 



good city. The school is up on a hill. There it is [points to 
large photograph on the wall]. You really didn't have too strong 
a relationship with downtown unless you wanted to. And the part 
that was up on the hill was a very attractive older residential 
section, most of which is made up into Brown. And it's expanded 
quite a lot since then. It's just a very fine place and a 
wonderful place to go to school. In those days it was about an 
hour from Boston. You could take the train in about forty minutes 
to Boston. 

Glaser: Oh, you lived at home? 

Swig: No, I lived at school. I lived in a fraternity house. But I say 
it was that close to Boston. It was about three hours or three 
and a half hours by train to New York. It was very convenient and 
very well located. It was a good, fun town. It was attractive. 
It's not a rich town. Today there are a lot of places outside of 
Providence that are very attractive. Newport, Rhode Island, is 
one of the top places in the country. We never got over to 
Newport; that was out of our league. 

Again, I didn't have much money and I couldn't do a lot of 
the things. You know it was still part of the Depression and 
things weren't so good. My father had to pay tuition. Then it 
was four hundred dollars for the year, and he had to scrape up 
four hundred dollars , but I had to help him scrape it up by 
working. Oh, incidentally, I worked in one of those drug stores 
that my father owned at one time. I worked there a couple of 
summers, behind the soda fountain. I was too young, so they only 
let me work part-time. So I worked making seven, eight, six 
dollars a week. 

I bought ray first suit of clothes after I got paid one day. 
I was walking down the street in downtown Boston. A friend of my 
father's owned a clothing store there. He grabs me by the 
shoulder and pulls me in says, "You want to buy a suit?" I said, 
"You're too expensive." He says, "I'll give you a deal." So I 
paid seven dollars and bought a suit, [laughter] 

Glaser: A whole suit, my goodness. 

Swig: I've always remembered that. Anyway, things were difficult but it 
was a good experience. 

Glaser: But how could you afford to live in a fraternity house if you were 
working your way through? 

Swig: Well, I waited on table in the fraternity house. 



18 



Glaser: Oh, In the fraternity house, I see. 

Swig: Yes. I washed dishes one week and waited on table the next week 
and I paid my way through. 

Glaser: And you had time for sports also? 

Swig: Well, I did. I played hockey in college and I played football. 

Glaser: You were one of the star players on the hockey team, weren't you? 

Swig: Well, I wasn't that good. I was pretty good. But I only went two 
years to college, incidentally. I went two years because I wanted 
to get into business and make some money. So I left school. I 
was then going with a girl whom I had met at summer camp as a 
counselor up in Maine. That had an effect on me which is 
unfortunate, because I probably shouldn't have left school. But I 
did. 



The Giant Store 



Swig: I went to work, and I went to work in the Giant Store. This man, 
Joe Ford, lent me ten thousand dollars to go into business and 
become one of the concessionaires in the clothing department. And 
we hired a guy who was the with the W.T. Grant Company who taught 
me the business. I was then a young kid. I was twenty, I guess, 
and I went into business. I learned the business, and I worked 
hard at it. I worked morning, noon, and night. The store was 
open five nights a week. Opened at nine -thirty, closed at nine. 

Glaser: You were there for twelve hours? 

Swig: I was there the whole time. Except Wednesdays when it closed at 
one o'clock, I guess. So I didn't go in on Wednesdays. I went 
downtown to Boston to do the shopping for the store. Oh, and 
Friday and Saturday nights it was open until ten, and I worked 
from nine -thirty in the morning. Well, the store opened then but 
I was there earlier, obviously. I worked twelve, thirteen hours a 
day in the store, and I had to drive an hour to and an hour from. 
Anyway, I didn't know any better. It seemed like a way of life, 
and that's what I did. But I worked hard, and we made great 
progress. Finally we took over more departments, and I ran the 
whole store and did the whole thing. 

Glaser: Are you saying you took over the whole store from your father? 



19 



Swig: Yes, my father had long since gone. He had a woman in charge at 
that time. He went back into the real estate business at that 
time. Let's see, he worked from 1932 to 1935 or 1936 in the 
store, I guess, '35 maybe. Then he went back into the real estate 
business. Things started to pick up a little bit by that time. 
That's where he met, and how he met, Jack Weiler. 

Glaser: Who is Jack Weiler? 

Swig: Jack Weiler became my father's partner in 1936. That's fifty- 
five years ago from now, and they're still partners. In fact, 
you'll see a message here. A Mr. Jack Weiler just called me a 
little while ago. "At 4:23 p.m., Mr. Weiler called." 

Glaser: It certainly sounds as if you paid your dues. 

Swig: Yes, but it was good experience. When I look back on it now it 
was great experience. It taught me discipline. It taught me to 
do the right thing, be on the ball, and be creative. And I 
learned about business. I learned it the hard way, but I learned 
it, and I think I learned it pretty well. The experience of 
working those hours makes the hours I work now seem like nothing, 
although I work almost as many hours today as I did then. I'm 
here in the office at seven- thirty , quarter of eight in the 
morning. I don't leave here until five -thirty, six o'clock at 
night. But now I'm not working so much on business as I do 
outside activities: civic, charitable, and that sort of thing. 
But it's worth it, nonetheless. 



20 



III MARRIAGE AND MILITARY SERVICE 



Married to Phyllis Diamond. 1939: U.S. Armv. 1945 



Glaser: You were married in 1939. Whom did you marry? 

Swig: I was married in 1939 to that girl, unfortunately, that I'd met 
that summer at summer camp . 

Glaser: What was her name? 

Swig: Her name was Phyllis Diamond. We had two children, Steve, who 

works here with me now, and Judy, who unfortunately passed away at 
age twenty- six from cancer. That was 1975, so it's been a long 
time. But the marriage failed. Well, in between I went in the 
service, in the army, World War II. 

Glaser: What year did you go into service? 

Swig: I went in 1945, went in kind of late because my son was a pre- 

Pearl Harbor birth. At least he was created before the war and he 
was born May of 1942, and I went in at the beginning of '45. I 
spent a year in the army, and the war ended, and I was lucky 
enough to get out. 

Where did you take your training? 

I took basic training in Macon, Georgia, in the infantry. This is 
a cute story. I had an I.Q. of a wild- eyed genius in telegraphy. 
Don't ask me why, I don't know. Probably because I'm good with 
numbers and it's dot, dot, dot, dash, dash, dash. And I guess I 
could count pretty well. 

Glaser: I think your being good in languages would help you too. 

Swig: Well maybe that had something to do with it. But whatever it was, 
I was a wild-eyed genius. I was very good in the rest of my 
exams, but in telegraphy I was a genius, wild- eyed genius. I was 



Glaser 
Swig: 



21 



a genius the other way but a wild- eyed genius in telegraphy. So 
what did they put me in? The infantry. [laughter] So I was a 
soldier boy, and I went from basic training, where I was selected 
number one out of a thousand men to go to O.C.S. [Officer 
Candidate School] . And of course it was in the infantry. 

Glaser: At Fort Benning? 

Swig: Fort Benning. I went to infantry school there. I was a good 
soldier. 

Glaser: Was it rough? 

Swig: Yes, it was tough. But, you know, it was like working the way I 
did in college. I had a good experience. I took everything they 
could throw at me and I did well. That was a confidence builder 
if I needed it, and I probably did. It was a tough experience, 
but the experience was good. 

Glaser: Did you run into anti-Semitism when you were in the army? 

Swig: No, I did not. My best friend in the army was a guy by the name 
of Dick Rebello. Dick was a fire chief in Providence, Rhode 
Island, as it turned out later on. Matter of fact, shortly before 
he died he was out here visiting with me. Another fellow I was 
friendly with was a fellow named Eddie Epstein. He was Jewish. 
We still correspond once in a while to this day. He became a 
lawyer. He's in Washington, D.C. He was in the rag business at 
the time. He was making ladies' sportswear in New York [laughter] 
and he wound up being a lawyer in Washington afterwards. 



Out of Officer's Training School 



Swig: But the experience was solid. I did well. I was a good soldier. 
My fellow men and my superiors liked me. In fact, I decided not 
to take a commission in the army because the war had ended by this 
time, and they wanted us to stay in an extra two years, I think it 
was. I had a wife and a kid, and I didn't feel like I wanted to 
do that. I had a hell of a time trying to get out of the army 
because my record was too good. They said, "We spent all this 
money on you and now you want to leave us . " 

Glaser: Did you have to have a certain number of points to get out? 

Swig: Yes, you did. But I didn't get out at that time. I just got out 
of O.C.S. at that point. So I had been in for about twelve, I 



22 



think, of the sixteen weeks. I had already been fitted for 
uniforms by this time. I went to my platoon leader and said, "I 
want to get out, sir." And he said, "You can't do it. You're too 
good a soldier. We can't lose you after we've done all this for 
you." He said, "You'll have to see the company commander." 

I went to the company commander and I got the same story. 
In the meantime, weeks are going by, and so then the company 
commander said, "We'll have to take it up to battalion." Well, 
some guy up there finally let me out. I said, "Look, I don't want 
to flunk out of here. I don't want to ruin my record. I want to 
just get out because I've got a wife and a kid. The war is over. 
And I don't want to stay in. I've got a business back home, and I 
have to get back and run my business." Finally they let me out. 

So then I drove trucks, [laughter] They didn't know what to 
do with guys like me. There were some others, a fellow name Bill 
Sustak from Owatonna, Minnesota. He slept next to me in the 
barracks. He became a postmaster in Owatonna, Minnesota. I 
haven't seen him. But they had us driving trucks for a while and 
experimenting. We were driving through mud, through sand, through 
hills, up, down, all over the damn place. So I learned how to 
drive a truck. 

They finally transferred us over to Leesville, Louisiana, 
which was Camp Polk. Leesville before the war was a town of about 
twelve hundred, fifteen hundred, two thousand people. It became 
the area for a hundred thousand troops during the war. So you can 
imagine what happened there. Anyway, I was able to get over 
there. I had my car and I drove over, and I had my wife and my 
son with me at that point. She wasn't too well. 



Swig: So we rented a little house down there. We were part of a surplus 
company, if you will, because men were coming back from overseas 
and had the points to get out. I did not. One night I had pulled 
guard duty, and while I was on guard duty they served us some 
coffee. It had some chicory in it, which I didn't realize, and I 
drank it. That's what they serve in New Orleans, you know. I 
just couldn't stand it. It tasted awful to me. And, gee, pulling 
guard duty is not too good, but I had to do it, I had to do it. 
So anyway, the next day, as it turned out, they asked for 
volunteers to serve as a company clerk. You had to type and you 
had to do whatever they asked you to do. I volunteered. Now, 
you're not supposed to volunteer in the army. That's the last 
thing you do. But I volunteered because I didn't want to pull 
this guard duty and have this chicory coffee . So I became the 
company clerk. 



23 



Part of my job being the company clerk was typing up 
requests for retirement to get out of the army. I looked at all 
these different requests, and I saw which ones were approved and 
which ones weren't. I thought I had an idea of what would work 
because I had a wife who was ill. Even though she was with me, 
she wasn't a well woman. And I wrote back for her record. I sent 
the material to a friend of my father's in New York who was a 
lawyer because I knew he would know how to do this , and I told 
him the general idea. Another friend of my father's was a doctor 
and I got the record from him. I sent all this material to the 
lawyer, who wrote up a request for retirement. He sent it back 
down to me, and I typed up my own request. 

Lo and behold, three or four weeks later I get a call from 
headquarters company, from this fellow Sustak who was still at the 
same camp. He says, "Guess what?" I said, "What?" "You're out." 
I said, "You've got to be kidding." He says, "No, you're out." 
"O.K!" 

December 7, 1945. Very auspicious day. At twelve noon, I 
was out of the army, with a little discharge button on, in the 
car, wife and a kid, bags packed, everything done, on the way back 
to Boston. So we drove from Louisiana, up through Little Rock, 
Arkansas; Louisville, Kentucky; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and then 
on to Boston. Finally got home and back to work the next day in 
the store in Lowell, Massachusetts. End of career in the army. 
But I was a good soldier, and it was not a bad experience. 
Fortunately, I didn't get killed and I didn't get wounded and I 
didn't go overseas. 



Military Training 



Glaser: Did you get injured in O.C.S.? Because that happens. 

Swig: No, but you know a lot of guys did. And I saw a couple of guys 
killed in basic training. Carelessness, pure carelessness. The 
obstacle courses are where accidents happen. You're climbing 
things, jumping things, crossing rivers, and getting shot at. 
You've got to go through all kinds of training. They put a line 
of fire with machine guns over your head and you're crawling 
underneath them. You can get hurt doing that. You don't dare 
stand up, obviously. You'd get killed. And one guy was killed in 
basic training doing that. Another guy got killed on maneuvers 
that we went on- -it's a little complicated- -but he got in the 
wrong line of fire, stupidly, carelessly. And a guy got killed. 



24 



He was a big league ball player. I forgot the name, but he was 
killed. 

It can happen, it does happen in basic training. And O.C.S. 
training, which is probably no more rigorous than basic training. 
They're both tough. They're both rigorous. I lost thirty pounds 
in basic training, and I lost it in the first six, seven weeks. I 
weighed more than I have ever weighed in my life, more than I have 
ever weighed since. I weighed 191 pounds. I went down to 161 
pounds. But I was solid. I was like rock because 1 was in such 
good condition. Everybody is. 

It was an experience that you don't forget, obviously, and 
the discipline is a good example for life. The benefit I had of 
being a good soldier was that I had gone to summer camp up in 
Maine that I mentioned earlier. I had been a camper and a 
counselor at summer camps. And there's a certain amount of 
discipline. One of the head counselors of the camp I went to, 
when I was a junior counselor, wanted me to go to West Point. He 
tried to talk my mother and Dad into it very, very much. 

I had a pretty good inclination. Every summer we had two 
West Point cadets who were counselors. They had the summer off. 
They were allowed one summer off in the four years . They had a 
pretty good influence on me because, again, it was discipline, and 
they were great guys. I learned to ride, I learned to shoot under 
their guidance. And I got pretty good at it. So good that when I 
went in the army I was an expert in every weapon- -rifles , machine 
guns, no matter what it was --based on the training that I had had. 

At this camp, this head counselor, who was a professor at 
West Point, wanted me to go to West Point, tried to talk my folks 
into it. I turned it down because I had been accepted at Brown by 
now, and I decided to go to Brown. And because I had to take 
another year of schooling to take the exams for West Point. It 
was too late for that year, so I decided not to do it. I guess 
I'm glad I didn't. But when I did get in the army, the training 
that I had from that discipline made me a good soldier 
automatically. I knew what to do, how to do it, and how to do all 
the things that you had to do in the army. I was so good at it 
that the company commander used to turn the company over to me , 
the acting sergeant, and I'd take over the company and take them 
out. 

Glaser: For drilling? 

Swig: For drill, hikes, whatever we had to do. So the training was 
excellent. 



25 



Glaser: One doesn't usually think of a summer camp as being a good basis 
for discipline and for training that leads you to doing well in 
the army. 

Swig: Oh, it was, clearly. That camp was, certainly. 

Glaser: Well, you give me the impression of whatever the experience is you 
look on it in a favorable sense and get the most out of it. You 
don't look negatively upon it. 

Swig: I'm an optimist, not a pessimist. If I were a pessimist I 

wouldn't do half the things I do. I'm always looking forward; I 
don't look back. But the experiences of life, those experiences, 
build whatever you are and make whatever you are out of you. And 
I think they're good experiences when I had these kinds of things 
happen to me . 

Glaser: That's a wonderful trait to have. 

Swig: That's the way I am. Whatever success I've achieved, I think, has 
been partly because of that. Mostly because of that. And when I 
take on ventures and do things, I'm an optimist. I always believe 
we can do them. 



Return to Civilian Life. 1945 



Glaser: When you went back to Boston and you started up again in the Giant 
Store, where were you living? 

Swig: I had, by that time, sold ray house, my relatively inexpensive 
house. I was living in an apartment in Boston. 

Glaser: You told me you were divorced from your first wife. 

Swig: Yes, later on. 

Glaser: How long were you together before the divorce? 

Swig: Twelve years. I was then here in San Francisco. I moved to San 
Francisco in August of 1946. 

Glaser: Well, why don't we leave that for another time. We'll pick that 
up later. 

Swig: All right. We'll pick it up when we move to San Francisco. I'll 
tell you then. 



26 



IV SWIG FAMILY MOVES TO SAN FRANCISCO 
[Interview 2: July 30, 1991 ]//# 



Purchase of Hotels: St. Francis. 1944: Fairmont. 1945: Bellevue. 
1950 



Glaser: While you were in the army, what was the rest of your family doing? 

Swig: Well, my father was transporting himself back and forth from San 
Francisco. He had bought the St. Francis Hotel first. And then 
in 1945, in March, bought the Fairmont Hotel. So he and my mother 
were spending a lot of time in California at that time. My 
brother was overseas, in the New Hebrides Islands. They're called 
something else now. My brother-in-law, Buddy Dinner, was in the 
CBI theater of war. 

Glaser: What does that stand for? 

Swig: China -Burma -India. Subsequently came back to this country. So we 
were all in the service at the same time. Buddy was discharged in 
September, October of '45. I was discharged in December of '45. 
And Dick didn't get out until March of '46. Maybe it was 
February; I'm not sure exactly. 

Glaser: When you were discharged, did you go back to managing the Giant 
Store? 

Swig: I did. As a matter of fact, on December 7, 1945, at twelve noon I 
was discharged. Two minutes later I was in my car and on the way 
back to Boston. I arrived in Boston a few days later and went to 
work. 

Glaser: Who managed the store while you were in the army? 

Swig: I had a partner who had been brought in when I knew I'd have to go 
in the service. He was an ex-W.T. Grant man. He became a 
partner, and he ran the store while I was gone. 



27 



Glaser: Where did you settle in the Boston area when you came back? 

Swig: I went back to where I had been living before, which was in a 
hotel in downtown Boston. 

Glaser: And you had just the one child at that point? 

Swig: At that point I had one child. 

Glaser: When was your daughter born? 

Swig: She wasn't born until 1949. 

Glaser: If your father was going back and forth to San Francisco and 

returning to Boston, who did he have managing the Saint Francis? 

Swig: It was a man by the name of Dan London, who was an old established 
member of San Francisco. Well known, and a very fine man. He ran 
the hotel on a daily basis. 

Glaser: He managed that for years, didn't he? 
Swig: A long time. 

Glaser: Your father also bought the Bellevue Hotel? 
Swig: Yes, but that was quite a lot later, 
[conversation interrupted] 

Swig: The Bellevue Hotel was bought, I'm going to guess, in the late 
40' s, early 50' s. Somewhere at that period. Around 1950, '51, 
maybe . 

Glaser: You told me that the family took a vote on moving out here, and 

your mother said, "Let's go." Does this mean that she had a very 
strong voice in the family and was a dominant person? 

Swig: She was a strong family woman. She envisioned the possibility of 
the family not being together because of the hotels out here, and 
the rest of her family and my father's family all being back East. 
She said, "Either we all move out together or let's sell the 
hotels and go back to Boston." Back being wherever home was and 
everything else. In a democratic way she said, "Let's take a 
vote. Let's see how we all feel about it." 

After I got out of the army, I came out here after the 
Christmas season was over. In January of '46 I came out and 



28 



Glaser 
Swig: 



spent, I think, three weeks, or something like that, traveling 
around this part of the country to find out if I liked it. My 
brother was still overseas, and hadn't come back. My brother-in- 
law and my sister had been out here. They liked it. They voted 
aye . I subsequently voted aye . My folks voted aye . And my 
brother didn't get a vote. [laughter] Besides, he was the only 
single one. We all agreed to come out. 

But that separated your mother from her own family. 

It did do that. But it was important to my father, and we all 
felt it was a good move to come out here. 



Mazor's Store. Oakland 



Glaser: When you came out, you started a store in Oakland. Is that right? 

Swig: In Oakland, yes. 

Glaser: Would you tell me about that? 

Swig: Well, my father had invested with a couple of his friends in a 
store, called then Mazor's, in Oakland: Harold Baruh and Harold 
Goldman, who operated another store in that town called Goldman's. 
My father had bought an interest in this particular store with 
them, which was a few blocks away. It was a ladies clothing 
store. I had been in the retail business back East, but not in 
this kind of business. So that seemed like a likely outlet to 
continue in the retail business. And so we bought out the Baruh 
and Goldman family and bought into this business. 

Glaser: Where was the store located? 

Swig: Broadway and Fifteenth Street in Oakland. 

Glaser: What was Oakland like in those years? 

Swig: It was a nice town, a very nice town. We were right in the middle 
of the retail district. Kahn's Department Store, which is no 
longer in existence, was right across the street. It was 
considered a good location. 

Glaser: Did that put you near Capwell's? 

Swig: Capwell's was up a few blocks, about four or five blocks up the 
street. 



29 



Glaser: You saw Oakland in its heyday then, didn't you, compared to now? 

Swig: Well, I don't know whether it was its heyday or not, because I 

think it's become a bigger community today than it was then. It 
was a nice community in all, but I wasn't overly enthralled about 
working and being in Oakland, I must tell you. 

Glaser: Where were you living? 
Swig: San Francisco. 

Glaser: When you came out here, what was your first impression about San 
Francisco? 

Swig: Well, I woke up- -on the train in those days, my first visit ever 
to California- -I looked out from the windows on the train. I was 
in Sacramento and it was in January. I looked through the windows 
and looked out at a beautiful blue sky, far bluer than what comes 
now. No smog, nothing, just clear blue and green. And looking at 
that, after coming out of the East where it was winter time, was a 
tremendously wonderful impression. Then I came to San Francisco, 
and of course, like everybody else I fell in love with the city. 
It's a beautiful city. I went to Los Angeles at that time. Even 
in L.A. the skies were clear and blue in those days. There was no 
smog yet, and that was a pleasant experience. But I loved being 
here in this wonderful city. 

Glaser: How long did you have the store in Oakland, Mazor's? 

Swig: Until 1950. 

Glaser: Did you keep the name, Mazor's? 

Swig: No, we changed it. It became a Joseph Magnin store. We made a 

deal with Cyril Magnin at that time. He became a partner with us 
in the store. We remodelled the store, and we reopened about 
1949, I guess it was. And it became a Joseph Magnin store. 

Glaser: How long were you there? 
Swig: Four years. 



From Retail Business to Real Estate 



Glaser: What made you change from retail into the hotel business? 



30 



Swig: Well, I never was in the hotel business. I went into the real 
estate business with my father. My brother went into the hotel 
business. I went into the real estate business. And it's still 
that way. 

Glaser: The Swig's have, or perhaps I should say had, a very fine 
reputation for hiring refugees, giving them a break in the 
Fairmont . 

Swig: That's true. That's right. My offices were in the hotel until we 
had to move here because we didn't have any more room. The Henry 
Lewins and Werner Lewins . Our present manager of the hotel is 
Herman Weiner, and Herman's been with us for must be close to 
forty years. He had been in a concentration camp as a Polish 
young man when the war was on. Somehow or other got out alive by 
being a slave laborer. There's a number tattooed on his arm and 
he's here working at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. 

Glaser: I know the Lewins were in Shanghai. 

Swig: And the Lewins were in Shanghai. Hans and Peter Goldman, who 
worked for the hotel for years and years, also came out of 
Shanghai. And other people, waiters and other folks. And they 
all started, incidentally, as waiters or busboys or what have you, 
and worked themselves up and did very well and accomplished a 
great deal. Good people. 

Glaser: I think the family has a fine reputation concerning that. 

Swig: You mentioned reputations. One of the nice things I recall along 
those lines is a story I was talking to my wife about last night. 
Ella Fitzgerald came to play the Venetian Room at the Fairmont 
probably around 1950 I'm going to guess. And she always tells 
this story to this day. When she played the Fairmont the first 
time, it was the first time that she had ever slept in the same 
hotel in which she played. Black people were not allowed to do 
that. But when she came to play the Fairmont, she had a room at 
the Fairmont Hotel and stayed in the Fairmont. She always tells 
that story. She's never forgotten it. She's always had a soft 
spot in her heart for my dad and the Fairmont Hotel because of 
that. Nice Story. To this day she still tells that story. 

Glaser: In transferring from retail business to real estate, was there any 
difficulty in that adjustment? 

Swig: Yes, I had the learning process, a very strong learning process. 

I had to learn all about different things. But I had been exposed 
to it through my father, obviously, for quite a few years. He'd 



31 



been in the real estate business for, well, practically all my 
life. So I wasn't unfamiliar with the real estate business, per 
se. But it was a learning process. 




Melvin and Richard Swig at opening of San Jose Fairmont Hotel, 1987 



32 



V JEWISH COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT 



Jewish National Welfare Fund. 1948 



Glaser: Your first Federation activity, actually it wasn't the Federation 
yet. It was the Jewish National Welfare Fund, is that right? 

Swig: I think that's what it was called. 

Glaser: One gets confused between that and the Jewish National Fund, which 
plants trees in Israel. Did you have much contact with the 
professionals at that time? 

Swig: Oh, yes. I started working for the Federation about 1948, I think 
it was. I went through every phase of volunteer kind of work. So 
I knew [Sanford] Treguboff, of course originally. He was the 
mainstay, or the chief gunner, for many years until [Lou] 
Weintraub took over. I went up through the chairs; I became 
everything that one does . 



Early Leaders 



Glaser: Who were the lay people you were working with? 

Swig: I remember Lloyd Dinkelspiel, Sr. , was around those days. Then 
Walter Heller. Of course Walter Haas and Dan Koshland. And I 
remember Jake Shemano and Lenore Underwood. 

Glaser: I've never come across her name as part-- 
Swig: She was a judge in San Francisco. 
Glaser: And she was active in the Federation? 



33 



Swig: Yes, I remember serving on a budget committee with her, among 
other things . 

Glaser: Now tell me what these people were like whom you've named. 

Swig: They were actually great symbols of leadership. They were the 
deans of San Francisco in those days. I learned from them. I 
watched them. I thought they were very fine people. They treated 
me very well. It was quite a wonderful experience because they 
were good leaders. They were bright, with-it kind of people. My 
father, of course, was among that group. They just led the 
community. They took charge. They did by example and by hard 
work a lot of good things for this community. 



Fundraising and Budgeting 



Glaser 
Swig: 



Glaser 



Swig: 



Glaser: 



What was fundraising like when you started? 

Well, as compared to today, it was chicken feed because things 
were a little different then. But I had cards that I called on, 
other people that I used to call on, to raise money. I 
subsequently, after going through all the chairs, became the 
campaign head. Obviously, you have to raise money, and I did a 
lot of calling. In those days, if we raised about two and a half 
million dollars in the community, that was a pretty good year. 
And that was the most that had ever been raised at that time. 

But was there a difference in how the money was raised then? 
Aside from the end result, was there a difference in the method of 
raising money? 

Not really. I mean you go in cycles. Sometimes you do big 
dinners , and other times you do parlor meetings , and other times 
you do just direct contact and nothing else. We did that. Mostly 
we had parlor meetings. We got people into a room and we asked 
for money. And we did a lot of personal solicitation which is no 
different from what is done today. 



Did two people together call on one? 
done now . 



I think that's the way it's 



Swig: You mean work two-on-one? Yes, we tried to do that. We did some 
of that. We did one -on- one. We did the parlor meetings. Those 
were successful, and we did very well with them at that time. It 
doesn't seem like a lot compared to what we're doing now, but it 



34 



took the same effort and the same energy then that it does now to 
do what we're doing today. 



Campaign Chairman, 1969 



Glaser: When you were the campaign chairman, was there an orientation 
period for the volunteers? 

Swig: Yes, we did some training with them. But, you know, what really 

happens is that year after year most of the same people do most of 
the same work. There are transition periods, but you kind of 
break in gradually. By the time you get to be calling cards and 
so forth, you've already been doing it for a few years. It was a 
smaller community then, too. Everybody knew everybody in town, 
pretty much, and you just-- It's your turn to take a card this 
year, or it was my turn to take it last year. I still call on 
cards on occasion. Not so much today, but it doesn't stop. It 
keeps going. So the training part is relatively small. You have 
to have new campaign slogans. You have to have new reasons why to 
give, and so forth and so on. But basically you know your stuff 
when you're going in. 

When you started up, did you have a mentor? Did somebody take you 
under wing and help you break in? 

No, I think it just came about gradually. You get involved. Then 
you see what other people doing, and you do your own thing. 

Did you ever serve as a mentor? 

Some people have accused me of being a mentor to them, but I 
haven't recalled doing it as a studied thing. 

Did you have help from the United Jewish Appeal in your campaign? 

Yes, we did. In those days, as a matter of fact, we had more help 
than we seem to be getting today. UJA people came out here more 
often and talked to our groups more often than I believe is done 
today. We used to hold meetings--! remember meetings in Palm 
Springs, meetings here, meetings in Los Angeles- -where all the 
communities of the West Coast got together more than they do now. 
Although I'm beginning to see some revival of that happening 
today. I guess with Brian Lurie going to New York maybe more of 
it will happen. 

Glaser: He'll bring the local picture to New York? 



Glaser 
Swig: 

Glaser 
Swig: 

Glaser 
Swig: 



35 



Swig: I think he'll get it souped up again. 

Glaser: Did you achieve your goal when you were the campaign chairman? 

Swig: Sure did. We had the best year they ever had at that time. It 
was a good year. Now what year it was I don't remember exactly. 
Let's see, I was president in '71 -'72, so it must have been in 
1969. 

Glaser: Did you pick the chairmen of the various campaign divisions? 

Swig: Well, we worked together. To say that I picked them is not 

accurate; Treg and I would go over it. I guess Lou was involved 
at that time, he was Treg's assistant, and we'd pick out our 
people. And they knew the bodies better than I could know them: 
who performed, who didn't perform. And we made selections. 

Glaser: What was the role of the Women's Division in your campaign? 

Swig: Not very strong. We had one, but it wasn't as strong as it is 
today . 

Glaser: Was it still, at that time, that if a woman gave over a certain 
amount it would go into the main campaign rather than stay with 
the Women's Division? 

Swig: I don't recall that. 

Glaser: Were people still giving more money than before because the State 
of Israel was established? 

Swig: Oh, I think there's no question that Israel has always been, since 
I can recall, a focal point during a drive throughout the years, 
and increased as it went along. The strength of it. Once Israel 
was established as a state, there was an upbuilding, if you will, 
of devotion and giving. 

Glaser: There wasn't the need for a second line during your campaign, was 
there? 

Swig: I can't remember. The years kind of get mixed up as to what went 
on. We worked every year, whether we were campaign chairman or 
not. There were several years where we had two lines, and I can't 
tell you which year it was. I don't remember. 

Glaser: I know one year it was the War of '67. 



36 



Swig: Sixty-seven clearly was one. There was a big outpouring of people 
at that time. Seventy -three as well, I'm sure. 

Glaser: During your campaign, what were the local needs? Because you were 
also involved in allocations, after your campaign. 

Swig: The local needs were not as big as they are now. We gave a much 
bigger percentage to UJA than we do now. The Jewish Family 
Service Agency, the Centers. Well we didn't have as many Centers 
then, the main one being in San Francisco, of course. The 
hospital [Mount Zion Hospital], I think we had the Hillel Day 
School, the Bureau of Jewish Education, of course. Those are the 
ones I remember principally at that time. Oh, the Jewish Home for 
the Aged, called the Hebrew Home for the Aged at that time. 

Glaser: Probably the orphanage was still in existence then too. 

Swig: I don't think so. It was already falling out. Then the national 
organizations, of course, were similar to what we have now. 



The Budgeting Process 



Glaser: What were the budget meetings like? 

Swig: Budget meetings were held at the Concordia Club. Went on from 

dinner time to all hours of the night. It was kind of long, very 
long. You're talking about the final meeting when we allocated? 

Glaser: Right. 

Swig: Yes, they went on for hours and hours on end. 

Glaser: Was there a lot of screaming going on? 

Swig: No, it was done rather well. We divided up into various segments: 
the nationals and the locals and the overseas . And they were set 
up by committees. They were voted on very democratically. 

Glaser: Did the subcommittees meet separately before the final meeting? 

Swig: Yes. It was all done well and came out pretty good on the whole, 
I thought. It was kind of a challenge to make it all add up and 
come out. Negotiations took place when the budgets didn't match 
the outlays and so forth. It came out fine. It was hard not to 
be ritualistic about your own studies, because you'd take a 
patriotic view, if you will, of your own department, but you had 



37 



to rise above it in the overall picture. Of course, Israel was 
the big number. That was the biggest amount of money that we gave 
out. 

Glaser: Did you have a favorite local agency? 

Swig: I had two, probably. The Family Service Agency and Mount Zion 
Hospital were probably my favorites. 



Mount Zion Hospital 



Glaser 



Swig: 



Glaser 



Swig: 



Somebody said to me that Mount Zion was considered the most 
prestigious agency of all. Is that true? 

It was. We had great pride in Mount Zion Hospital because we had, 
obviously, one of the better hospitals in town. That was a day, 
of course, when Jewish doctors were not allowed to practice on a 
community basis the way they are today. Today you go to any 
hospital anywhere in the Bay Area and there are Jewish doctors. 
In those days there weren't. So we had great pride in 
establishing, for our Jewish doctors, a wonderful hospital. All 
that changed over the years. 

How do you feel about its merging with the University of 
California Hospital? 

I think it was a good move. I think it was an important move and 
one that had to be done, because the whole demographics of San 
Francisco changed dramatically over the years. The percentage of 
Jewish people in our community diminished, and a lot of other 
people moved in. It became a different kind of community. Also, 
the rest of the Bay Area built hospitals that were fine and good 
hospitals. For instance, down in the Peninsula. Then Stanford 
Hospital was built. Sequoia Hospital was built. Other good 
hospitals were built. And whereas everybody used to come to San 
Francisco to the hospital, they didn't have to come into San 
Francisco anymore. So the whole complexion of hospitals changed. 

There was, as a result, an over -supply of hospital rooms in 
San Francisco. It was an over-built situation. Mount Zion and 
all hospitals suffered as a result of it. The recent merger of 
Presbyterian with Children's Hospital is a result of some of that. 
Mount Zion, Children's, and Presbyterian at one time talked 
merger, the three of them, years ago. I was still on that board 
at Mount Zion, and they talked merger. It never went through. 
There were too many economic problems to make it happen. But 



38 



Glaser 
Swig: 

Swig: 



Glaser: 

Swig: 

Glaser: 

Swig: 



Glaser 



Swig: 



eventually Presbyterian and Children's did merge. Mount Zion 
merged with U.C. So it took away the problems. It's like the 
banks that are merging today. 

That's in disrepute. Don't make that comparison. [laughter] 
Yes, but it's in part not dissimilar. 

I* 

The hospitals cut their expenses. They don't compete one against 
the other to the extent that they did then. They don't have to 
buy as much equipment. They have cancer in one hospital, a baby 
hospital in another part, and so forth and so on. They don't have 
to duplicate what amounts to today millions of dollars worth of 
equipment. They segment them. It makes for lower expenses. 

How long were you on the board of the hospital? 
I think it was only about twenty years . 

What kind of problems were they having during your term on the 
board? 

Growing. Very serious problems in the end, financially. 
Hospitals, at the beginning of course, were running, I guess, in 
the eighties and nineties percent occupancy. It got to a point at 
the end, at least when I left, and I left some years ago now, they 
were running in the fifties and sixties. Making it very 
difficult, obviously, to make both ends meet and supply the first 
class kind of hospital that we'd been used to having. There were 
some serious economic problems as a result of it. Therefore, the 
merger was good, as it was with Presbyterian and Children's. 



In the 70' s, you had a lot of governmental help, 
funds - - 



The Hill -Burton 



Yes, there was that, and that evaporated. Then they got into this 
new system of the government telling how much you could charge for 
a room. Each hospital was competing and having to bid for the 
government thing. It became a very competitive thing and profits 
were reduced. Mount Zion had more of its population in 
government -supported business, and less private business and as a 
result was under very severe hardship economically. 



Glaser: Aside from the economic hardship that you mentioned, was it a 
well -administered hospital? 



39 



Swig: Most of the time, yes. We had good administrators. We had a 

couple of bad ones, but mostly they were good. I'd say the guy 
that's running it now, who came in some years ago, Marty Diamond, 
I think has done a very good job. 



Jewish Family Service Agency 



Glaser: Were you on the board of the Jewish Family Service Agency at the 
same time that you were on the hospital board? 

Swig: No, prior to. 

Glaser: What kind of clients did they have? What were they dealing with? 

Swig: They dealt in family problems and there was no hospitalization 
involved. It was a semi-psychiatric type thing. It was family 
problems and social problems that were totally different from what 
a hospital performs. A man by the name of David Crystal came in, 
Doctor David Crystal, who recently died incidentally. He did a 
super job with Family Service Agency. He was a devoted, 
intelligent, bright, lovely person. I admired him very much. I 
think he elevated the Family Service Agency very, very much. It 
became, and still is, one of the fine institutions of its kind 
anywhere. We did a good job. Same old building that they're in 
now. 

Glaser: On Scott Street? 

Swig: On Scott Street, across from Mount Zion. 

Glaser: What was it about that agency that made you decide to work with 
it? 

Swig: I guess somebody asked me. I don't remember. [laughter] 
Glaser: So there was no selective factor involved? 

Swig: No. I guess I was asked, and I don't remember who it was. It was 
such a long time ago. It was early 50 's I guess. 



40 



VI MISSION TO MOROCCO AND EUROPE, 1961 



Accompanied by John Steinhart and Marshall Kuhn 



Glaser: Tell me about your mission to Europe with John Steinhart and 
Marshall Kuhn. 

Swig: Let me see, that was '61. I was not the chairman of the drive, and 
I don't remember who was. I think John might have been. 1 We were 
asked by Treg to go to Europe and go to Vienna to see the Romanian 
people being taken out and sent to Israel. We went to Morocco, to 
see what was going on with the plight of the Jewish people in that 
Arab country. A lot of them were coming out of Morocco and going 
to France. We went from Morocco to-- 



Programs to Aid Moroccan Jews 



Glaser: Tell me first what you found in Morocco. 

Swig: We landed in Casablanca. We were met there by the Jewish Agency 
people. We toured the Jewish section of the city, and the Arab 
section of the old part of the city, not the modern part. We went 
through the ORT [Organization for Rehabilitation Through Training] 
schools. We saw the work of the feeding of the children that was 
done by the Jewish Agency there. Kids were fed and clothed at 
these little buildings. And to see the way they lived was 
unbelievable. Coming from an environment such as we come from and 
to see fourteen people in a room living as families with outdoor 
toilet facilities and poor education facilities. 

To see these kids come to this at least fairly pleasant 
environment to be fed, clothed, and taken care of as little 



*Richard N. Goldman was 1961 campaign chairman. 



41 



children. To see pregnant mothers get their milk there that they 
needed for their children, for their own health. To see blind 
people taken care of, and there were an awful lot of blind people 
with glaucoma, 1 guess it was, or some eye disease that was 
prevalent in Morocco, an awful lot of blind people there. And 
schools to help educate the kids. You know, it's like this is 
what life is all about. This is why we give money. It was a very 
good educational process; it was sad to see. 

The Jewish folks there on the surface got along okay with 
their Arab neighbors. (And the Arabs didn't live much better, I 
must tell you, if at all.) But by this time, the people were 
starting to come out of Morocco and go to France . 

Glaser: Was there a reason for it? Was there any anti-Semitism that 
caused them to emigrate, or any political reason? 

Swig: Oh yes, there was clearly some anti-Semitism. It wasn't like some 
of the other Arab countries, like Egypt, or the Saudis, or the 
Syrians, or the Iraqis. I don't believe it was as bad as that, 
but it definitely was there and it was difficult. A lot of people 
also went to Israel, of course. In fact, I remember when I was in 
Israel some years later and saw a plane load of these Moroccan 
people coming off. It was very hard for me to see them come to 
Israel. We were there in the middle of the night and they were 
coming in. 

Glaser: What were the children being taught in the ORT schools? 

Swig: Well, some of it was the typical reading and writing type of 

thing, but also in those schools they were trained for a trade. I 
can't remember what all the trades were at this point. But it 
might be leather work. It might have been weaving and other 
things like that, so they could be self -productive . So they were 
taught all kinds of things. But the good part was that they got 
at least two meals a day there. I think they had breakfast and 
lunch if I'm not mistaken. 7 \ey had people taking care of them 
and cleaning them, because th^y lived under terrible conditions, 
awful conditions. That was in Casablanca. 

Then we went to Fez and Rabat, which is the capital. I 
think that's where the king lives. We spent only a few hours in 
each place, so we didn't get to see a lot of that. But I do 
remember when we were driving that there were guards and policemen 
all over. They were having some internal problems in the 
government. They had areas on the road if you went the wrong way 
your tires would burst. That type of thing. Guys poking their 
machine guns into the car to look around and see what's going on. 
It wasn't exactly the most pleasant thing at the time. A little 




John H. Steinhart, Melvin M. Swig, Marshall H. Kuhn. American Airlines photograph, 
1961 

Photograph courtesy of Western Jewish History Center 



42 



Glaser 
Swig: 



Glaser 
Swig: 
Glaser 
Swig: 



frightening because you don't know what these people were going to 
do, or how they were going to do it. But we did get over to Fez, 
which is a much older city. Similar kinds of things but not as 
much Jewish concentration there. 

I also recall there were a lot of Jewish people coming out 
of the mountains. They were shambles of people. They weren't 
educated. They were living like people would live in the 
mountains. There were some of those people that came on. Then we 
went by the king's palace, we did get to see that in Rabat, and 
then back to Casablanca. 

The day we left there was some kind of an outbreak that took 
place in the country, a revolutionary type of thing. There were 
soldiers all over the place. I mean you couldn't move in that 
city without being pointed at by a soldier to move here, move 
there, and told what to do. We were so happy to get out of that 
city that day because we didn't know what was going to happen at 
that moment. We felt very fortunate to get out. And we went from 
there to Marseilles, which is a relatively short ride. Just 
across the Mediterranean at that point. But that was kind of a 
harrowing experience. Obviously you can see I was impressed with 
the experience. Marshall, John, and I trooped around all over the 
place and did our job. And we learned. One of the chaps we met 
with came with us from there to Marseilles and also went on to 
Paris as I recall. 

A United Jewish Appeal representative? 

It wasn't the UJA; it was the Jewish Agency. And HIAS [Hebrew 
Immigrant Aid Society], I guess, was involved there too, and the 
ORT people from the schools. The one fellow I remember was from 
Brooklyn, New York. I can't remember his name, dammit. He was a 
delightful guy and helped us a great deal, took us around and 
showed us everything. 

And the ORT schools are still there? 

Yes, I think they are. 

What did you do in Marseilles? 

Practically nothing. I went out and got a haircut, and got 
cleaned up. The funniest story I've got to tell you this because 
it's a cute story. They have a Fisherman's Wharf kind of place in 
Marseilles. By that time, Paula Borenstein, the Jewish Agency 
representative in Paris, had come down and met us there. I still 
send her a Christmas card. Lovely gal. She's been here a few 
times. We went to dinner and we start going around the table to 



43 



Glaser 



Swig: 



decide what we're going to have. So Marshall orders, I think it 
was clam chowder. The famous dish, of course, in Marseilles is 
bouillabaisse. He orders bouillabaisse after ordering clam 
chowder, not knowing what bouillabaisse was. But he heard about 
and talked about it, so he decides to order the bouillabaisse, 
which is a fish stew. The head guy, or whoever was taking our 
order, says, "Impossible!" And he walks away, he won't complete 
the order. [laughter] "Impossible!" And he walks away in 
disgust that somebody could order chowder and bouillabaisse. I've 
never forgotten the incident. I don't think Marshall to his dying 
day ever forgot the story. It's always been a cute remembrance of 
that restaurant. I think the restaurant was called the New York 
Restaurant, interestingly enough. 

[Knock on door. Tape Interruption.] 

Back to Marseilles. You said nothing much happened there aside 
from the restaurant. 

No, we looked around the town but nothing. 



Refugees in Vienna and Paris 



Glaser: Wasn't that where you saw the Romanian emigres? 

Swig: No, no, that was in Vienna. We went to Vienna first, then to 
Morocco, then to Marseilles, then up to Paris. 

Glaser: Tell me about Vienna, then. 

Swig: Vienna was a fascinating situation. We stayed at a fine old 

hotel, which I think that had been Nazi headquarters during World 
War II. We were escorted around the town by the Jewish Agency 
people. We got up at five o'clock in the morning, five, six, 
something like that. We went down to the train station to see 
the-- What's the name of the railroad? 

Glaser: The Orient Express? 

Swig: The Orient Express come in with people from Romania. 

Glaser: Was this at a time when the government had to be bribed to let 
Jews out? 

Swig: Paid is the word, bribed or paid, whatever you want to call it. 

Yes, we paid so much a head. These people came off the train and 



44 



they were typical, I guess, typical refugee -type looks to them. 
They had their little bags, and that's all they were allowed to 
take out. Their whole life was in these little bags. Fairly 
young people. Some older people. Little children. Egyptians 
were there watching us . Other Arab countries were checking us out 
to see these people coming in. 

Glaser: In Vienna? 

Swig: In Vienna. You know, a state of war still existed between all 
these people. As it does today with most of them. We had 
surveillance on us very carefully. We knew that. 

Little kids, some of them had blood in their ears where 
their little earrings had been torn off for the gold. And the 
blood was still on the ears of the kids. The people were 
confused, of course. They came in and we shook hands with them. 
We were happy to see them. Two interpreters told them who we were 
and why we were there, and we welcomed them and so forth. It was 
exciting to see these people coming out of Romania to freedom. 

They were then put in World War I barracks and kept for two, 
three, four, five days. The Austrian government- -interestingly 
enough, of all the places the most anti-Semitic people of all 
time --the Agency kept them in their barracks, these Jews coming 
out of Romania and then going on to Israel. 

So we went out and we reviewed their barracks, looked at 
them, saw their living environment. Then, I guess it was another 
night, we went out at one o'clock in the morning to the airport 
and saw an El Al plane loading up with these folks. Not 
necessarily the same ones, but coming out of that barracks and 
going out to the airport. At one o'clock in the morning, 
obviously, it's fairly deserted. Taking these people out and 
taking them on to Israel. 

Glaser: You're inferring it was a safety factor that it was done at that 
time? 

Swig: Safety factor. And I think without calling attention to what was 
going on. To quietly do this thing and take them away so as not 
to, Lord forbid, offend those terrible Austrians. The thing was 
done so well and so nicely, the people cared for so well. It was 
very impressive. 

An incident that occurred there I think I shall never 
forget. We were with these Agency people and going back to their 
office, I think it was after a lunch. As we entered into their 
office building (their office was on the second floor), and we 



45 



were about to walk up to the second floor- -although it had an 
elevator we were walking and out of the back door comes a man 
screaming something in Austrian. We didn't know what he was 
saying, obviously. But he was screaming and screaming. We could 
see something was up; this wasn't a normal thing, at least to us. 

When we got upstairs, we found out that this guy was the 
head janitor or engineer, whatever he was. What he was screaming 
was, "You no good Jews, you blah, blah, blah, blah, blah," and 
swearing and calling us all kinds of names because we were Jews. 
Nothing more; nothing less. I said, "How do they allow this thing 
to happen?" This was a government building. Typical, standard, 
the guy is that way. They paid no attention to him. We were kind 
of taken aback. We'd never seen anything like this before. They 
were used to it. It didn't bother them. He did this regularly. 
This was standard. But the government never corrected it. 

Another day- -or maybe one of the days, I forget how long we 
were there, maybe two or three days --we were accosted on the 
street for being Jews. How they knew we were Jews, I don't know. 
I guess we looked it, or what. They recognized us as whatever we 
were, and we were called names. This time it was in English with 
an accent. So I sensed of Austria that they were the most anti- 
Semitic of all, and we were told that they were. 

A couple of the nice things that happened to us there was we 
did go on a little bit of tour. We did see a little bit of the 
city and the surrounding countryside. It's a very pretty area. 

Glaser: Did you go out to Grinzing? Did you see the wine area? 

Swig: Yes, yes we did, and beautiful estates out there, just lovely. 

John and Marshall went to the opera. I don't care for opera so I 
wouldn't go with them. So I went to a restaurant all by myself 
and read my book. You ate at big long tables where everybody ate 
together, sat together. It was kind of interesting just looking 
at the local life. I enjoyed that more than I would have enjoyed 
the opera. I did go to the opera house with them. I don't know 
if you've been there, but it's a beautiful, beautiful building, 
exquisite building. 

Another night they took us to a Russian tea room type of 
place, playing Russian music. That kind of thing with the strings 
and all that business. That was kind of interesting. 

Glaser: The balalaika? 



46 



Swig: No, these were violins. They may have had the other, I don't 
know. But the name of the restaurant could have been The 
Balalaika if I'm not mistaken. [laughter] It was something like 
that. It was a very nice evening, as I recall, with a bunch of 
those people. The Jewish folks there were working hard and 
industriously, through the Jewish Agency, bringing these people 
in. They did a super job as far as we were concerned. Again, 
this was our first experience of finding out why we were, what we 
were doing, what we were all about, and how we had to raise money, 
and why we had to raise money. 

We had started out in Copenhagen. That was just an 
overnight stay before we got to Vienna, because you could fly in 
those days from Los Angeles to Copenhagen. I think it was a non 
stop flight. It was a good way to get to Europe. I love 
Copenhagen anyway, so John and Marshall decided they'd go with me 
and appease me as a way of breaking in to Europe . We had a nice 
time for a day in Copenhagen. Went to the massages, and all that 
sort of thing like you do. Stayed at a lovely hotel. Then we 
went to Vienna, then on to Morocco, then to Marseilles, and then 
back to Paris . 

Glaser: In Paris, did you do anything connected with refugees? 

Swig: Yes we did. We went to soup kitchens that were set up in Paris to 
handle the people coming in from the North African countries. 
They had a fairly large population coming in at that time because 
they were French citizens. France, of course, owned those 
countries originally. Took them over, or whatever you want to 
call it, but they were French citizens. 

Glaser: Was this at the time of the Algerian War? 

Swig: I think it was, if I recall correctly. There were a lot of 

Algerian people there. We also went down to the Jewish quarter in 
Paris. It was along the river. We went to some Holocaust -type 
building that they have there, where we saw first hand some of the 
things of the Holocaust. We hadn't yet been to Israel. I had 
never been to Israel, hadn't seen Yad Vashem or anything like it. 
So this was my first introduction. There were a lot of things 
there about the Holocaust, stories and pictures and so forth. It 
was a small Yad Vashem, if you will. It was interesting to us to 
have seen that. 



47 



VII MORE ON FUNDRAISING 



Glaser 



Swig: 



Glaser 
Swig: 
Glaser: 
Swig: 



Glaser: 



Swig: 



Speaking to Groups on Return from Mission 

This trip must have made you three very effective as fundraisers 
when you got back. 

It sure did. We did a good job. We each went out and spoke. You 
know when you see that in the action, when you see what you're 
doing, what life is about, and what kind of reward we were getting 
for our money, it makes you want to go out and do that much better 
a job. And we were good fundraisers, accordingly. 

What kind of groups did you speak to? 
Everybody. Everybody who would listen. 
Do you enjoy public speaking? 

Well, I did my first public speaking for the Federation. I didn't 
know whether I was good, bad, or indifferent. It apparently went 
over very well, so I got confidence in myself. I didn't think I'd 
ever be able to do it. But I had to do it, and it seemed to go 
over. So I continued doing it, still do. I do my best speaking 
extemporaneously, as long as I know my subject, and I can get up 
and belt it out. I try to do that for the most part. I sketch 
ideas out. Most of the time when I start out I have the piece of 
paper up with me, and then I talk about whatever I feel like. I 
don't always follow the paper. 

That makes you sound like a natural speaker, that you don't have 
to have it all written down and read directly from it. 

Well, if I have to be precise, I do it that way. But I do better 
if I just let it flow. As long as I've done my homework and 
written the stuff down- -I write it out long hand. 



Glaser: I imagine as campaign chairman you had to do a lot of speaking. 



48 



Swig: That came easy. That was a natural. You're so knowledgeable 
about your subject. You've lived the subject so easily and so 
well, it doesn't take any effort to get out and do that. It 
didn't for me, anyway. 



Capital Fund Drives 

Glaser: Were you ever involved in capital fund drives? 

Swig: Yes, when the Federation had one, which we did. 

Glaser: Was that the one for the hospital? 

Swig: We had one for the hospital. We had one for the Jewish home. 

Glaser: There was one, I think it was early '70's, where you-- 

Swig: I was president, come to think of it when we had one. That would 
be '71 or something like that. 

Glaser: That's right. That's the one I was thinking of. There was a 

combination for the hospital and the home, and there was another 
agency combined in that. 

Glaser: How long do capital fund drives go on? 

Swig: I don't remember. Probably a year or two. No more than that. . 

Glaser: Do you ever get funds from the general community? 

Swig: We do get some, sure we do, but not very much. 

Glaser: I think the hospital is more likely to do that. 

Swig: Well, even the hospital didn't get a heck of a lot. 



According to Federation board minutes, in 1971 President Swig 
announced the need for a capital fund drive in 1972. The last one was in 
1960. In 1973, two separate and simultaneous capital fund drives were to 
be launched: one by Mount Zion Hospital for $7,500,000, one by the 
Federation to raise $7,500,000 for the Bureau of Jewish Education, the 
Jewish Home for the Aged, and the United Jewish Community Centers. Due to 
the 1973 war in Israel, the drive was postponed until 1974. 



49 



Funds From United Way 



Glaser: What about from the Community Chest? 

Swig: Yes, that's an ongoing thing. The United Way used to be the 
Community Chest. You're dating yourself. 

f* 

Swig: The United Way gives money to the Federation each year, and still 
does to my knowledge. And then the Federation disperses that 
money with its own allocation committee. Now it may not still 
work that way, but it did at that time. 

Glaser: Was there ever any difficulty in getting the amount that you felt 
you were entitled to? 

Swig: No. I think that the United Way always did a very fair job. 

Glaser: There was a period of time much earlier when there was some 
difficulty. 

Swig: There may have been, but I am not familiar with that. At the time 
that I remember, we'd always get our fair share. 



Advance Gifts 



Glaser: In 1963, you were chairman of the Advanced Gifts Division. What 
was involved for you in that activity? 

Swig: See, you're reminding me of something I had completely forgotten 
about. [laughter] 

Glaser: I'll give you another copy of your chronology, because it helps, 
it's a long time ago. 

Swig: Well, the Advanced Gifts is an extension of being a campaign 

chairman, actually. It's just a more detailed and specific kind of 
assignment where you're talking about the bigger hitters in town, 
the bigger gifts. You do the same damn thing. You get out there 
and hustle, only you're doing it with relatively few people. I 
think in the Advanced Gifts area, at that time, you're probably 
talking about a hundred, a hundred and fifty people at the most, 



50 



if that. You just concentrate on those people and try and upgrade 
the gifts as much as you can. What was that, in '63? 

Glaser: Yes. 

Swig: I believe it was a good year, as I remember it. 

Glaser: For the Advanced Gifts, do you have the parlor meetings, or is it 
two -on- one or one -on- one? 

Swig: Both. Every bit of it. One part of it I remember being at Bob 

Sinton's, as an example, having a parlor meeting. I'm quite sure 
that that was the evening we had an Advanced Gifts parlor meeting 
that went very well. Bob, of course, was always a big help and 
did a good job, he and Joan both. We had the heavy hitters there 
and we went out and raised money. 

I remember also being at another one at Walter Heller's 
home, as I recall. You see, they overlap. You can't remember 
which year you did what. I remember the one at Bob's house very 
well. I also remember the one at Walter's -house, but I can't tell 
you that that was the same year. It wouldn't surprise me if it 
were, but I don't remember whether he was still alive at that 
time. I remember being at Advanced Gifts functions at Walter 
Heller's home, but I can't tell you that it was 1963 or not. I 
think it was. We just went out and worked the house, if you will. 
We called cards and got people to give. And we made the pitch. 

Glaser: Is there any particular kind of gimmick that you need for the big 
givers? 

Swig: Well, it depends on the year and what the need was. The needs 
were constant in that Israel was a focal point at all times. 
Nineteen sixty- three was not a particularly troublesome year in 
terms of wars or things like that. But there were always things. 
People were still coming in from other countries at that time. 
Not like today, because the numbers today are astronomical, but at 
one time there was a constant flow of people coming into Israel 
from every which country. 

Unlike the Arabs, we were taking our Jews out of Arab 
countries, settling them in Israel. In later years the Arabs 
didn't take their people and settle them like the Palestinians do 
today. But we did, and that was our focal point; that was our 
drive impact: saving lives, saving people, bringing them to 
Israel. That was the whole emphasis of all our campaigns during 
that time. And successfully, very successfully. 



51 



VIII FEDERATION AND VOLUNTEERS 



Those Who are New to the Community 



Glaser: As a newcomer yourself in the early years, how open was this 

community to new people? And how did somebody who was new get a 
toehold into the Federation and start working up through the 
chairs? 

Swig: I told you, I started working in 1948, and I was then thirty-one 
years old. So I was the young kid on the block. But people 
accepted us, accepted me, very well. I had no particular problems 
being an outsider. Everybody whom I knew, who knew where I came 
from, treated me well. I had good friends. I just met a lot of 
new people at that time and then enlarged upon it as life went on. 



But I think, although I didn't consciously do this for any 
particular reason, some of the friends I made in the Federation, 
and some of the contacts that were made-- Well, I think Bob 
Sinton is probably the best example. He and I, to this day, are 
the closest of friends. We play golf three or four times a month. 
We're still close and wonderful friends. I respect him and I know 
he does me. We still work on many things together. This has been 
going on for forty-odd years. But it was through Federation that 
I first met Bob. 

Being a newcomer and not one of the insiders, if you will, 
it took a little time to develop friendships, because you don't 
have your old school buddies around where you develop those 
friendships. It took a couple of years or so to get acclimated to 
the new environment, make new friends. You still lost your old 
buddies back home, so to speak, with whom you were brought up. 
But it's interesting, after a few years, I didn't know too many 
people back there and I knew them all out here. So it changes and 
it develops and it works. If people like you they accept you. If 
they don't like you they don't. I think they liked me and I think 
they accepted me. They made me feel very much at home. Never did 



52 



I feel that anybody excluded me, or wouldn't want to have me as 
part of them. I felt, very much, their warmth and their 
friendship. And it went very well. 

Glaser: After becoming active in the Federation, and after a few years, 
what did you see of the Federation reaching out to newcomers to 
bring them into the sphere of the Federation? 

Swig: I think there was strongly active work in that department. I 

think we always were reaching out trying to find new people and 
bringing them into the Federation. To this day, that still goes 
on. The demographic study we did recently, about three years ago, 
is an example of that. We found out that instead of having a 
125,000 or so people we've got maybe 200,000 Jews in the Bay Area. 
We didn't think we had that many. We didn't know where they were, 
so we redoubled our efforts to try and find these people and bring 
them into our community. 

Glaser: What kind of efforts? 

Swig: Well, you have to go to the congregations and do some research. 

Try and look in phone books. You do all kinds of work to find out 
who the Jewish people are, where they are. You check businesses 
and so forth. You check their rolls and see who they are and try 
to incorporate them. A lot of them get lost that you're never 
going to get. But you do pick up people every year. And every 
year we get more. 

Glaser: It seems to me it's a matter of informing the people that the 
Federation is more than just a fundraising organization. That 
it's the center for the Jewish community. 

Swig: It's a central thing. It transcends all religious factions, if 

you will. Whether you be Reform, Conservative, or Orthodox, we're 
all Jews. And this is the central Jewish organization, almost 
central to Jewish life, in my opinion. It's like another 
religion, in a way, because it doesn't separate the people. It 
brings them together. I have always viewed it that way. I think 
it's almost the central voice for Judaism in our communities. 

Glaser: It seems to me that's the message the Federation has to get 
across . 

Swig: I think we do it pretty well. And I think once you're involved 

with it you realize that's what's happening. While we might have 
different political and social views and so forth and so on, that 
central agency brings people together from all walks of life. Poor 
people as well as rich people, because poor people give to the 



53 



Federation too. They may not give big numbers but they give 
something. 

The social services that we render in our community, for 
instance to the newcomers from the Russians. We knock our brains 
out to take care of those people and make sure they're comfortable 
and happy in our community as best we can, offering them all kinds 
of services. We give big money for that. We should. That's 
central to our theme. That's central to our beliefs. It is its 
own kind of religion. 

Glaser: Tzedakah [charitable giving] . 
Swig: Exactly. 



54 



IX FEDERATION ASSIGNMENTS 
[Interview 3: September 12, 1991 ]#// 

Committees 



Glaser: I would like to talk to you about the Federation committees you 
were on before you became president, the finance and 
administration committee. You became chairman in 1967. What was 
the function of that committee? 

Swig: That's a good question. I wish I could remember. It seems to me 
that had to do with the budgeting process of the Federation. It 
was not a very meaningful job or a very big job. The most 
important jobs at the Federation were the fundraising jobs. The 
finance committee for instance was watching the purse strings of 
the Federation, obviously important but not in proportion to what 
the rest of the Federation was doing. 

Glaser: What you're saying is that the raising of the funds is really the 
impact of the Federation. 

Swig: That's really what it's all about. 

Glaser: When you were the treasurer, was that also pretty low-key? 

Swig: That was just a low-key job. 

Glaser: Then you were on the budget committee. That must have been-- 

Swig: The budget committee I was on for about twenty years, and that's 
giving away the money that is raised. That is very important. 

Glaser: What were the changes that you saw in twenty years? 

Swig: Well, I think that the budget committee became a more diversified 
group of people who became very interested in the function of the 
various agencies that we watched and supervised. We added 



55 



Glaser 



Swig: 



Glaser 



Swig: 



Glaser 



Swig: 



Glaser 
Swig: 



agencies over the years and changed emphasis in thought over the 
years. It is really the reason why we function. We do two 
things. We raise money and we give it away. That is basically 
what we are, plus some social planning. 

So the giving away of the money becomes almost as important 
as raising it, to make sure that the best job is done in the 
community with the money that we do raise. That is a very 
important function and we go over each agency very, very 
carefully. We study it, we're very careful, we watch their 
budgets, we watch what they are doing and what they are performing 
in the community and make sure that they are doing the right kind 
of job that the community needs and wants. 

Were you on that budgeting committee when it became the social 
planning and budgeting committee of 100? 

I went off just about that time, as I recall. That followed me 
but eventually led to what you are describing. 

You were on the executive committee in 1969, just before you 
became president. What were the functions of the executive 
committee? 

The executive committee then and now performs actions and decides 
issues that it then presents to the board for a final approval. 
The executive committee on some occasions can act for the board 
under emergency conditions. 

Is it like a clearing house, deciding what's important enough to 
go to the board? 

Basically that. It's kind of like a sounding board and gives the 
professionals advice and allows them to know what the feeling is 
because all the people who are on the executive committee had 
votes at the board level. So if those people are in agreement on 
issues it's likely that the board will follow their ideas. 

You were chairman of public relations. What did that do? 

Public relations does just what it says it's to do. It sets the 
atmosphere for the fundraising part of the work that the 
Federation does. It also is involved with where it gives the 
money because we sell, in effect, the fundraising effort based on 
the agencies that we supply money to, including overseas, 
national, and local agencies. We are three divisions so to speak. 
We sell to our community all of those agencies, overseas, local 
and national. We sell those agencies to the public and say, "This 
is what we need money for." And we have to have a good sales 



56 



pitch and a program, an effective one, that makes people want to 
give to us . 

Glaser: Why would that be separate from the campaign? 

Swig: It's all part of the campaign. The campaign itself has special 

emphasis in some ways. But basically we cleared the air for those 
things that do happen, on- going. 

Glaser: Did you get help from the UJA for your public relations? 

Swig: In part, yes, because UJA tied in with us much more then than they 
do now, I think, but we got campaign slogans. We were part of the 
national UJA campaign. I can't remember all the slogans, but each 
year we would have a different slogan for a sales pitch. We 
dwelled on this. We would use partly theirs and part of our make 
up. We had local people, for instance, in different advertising 
agencies for free who helped us put these campaigns together. 

Glaser: Did people come from New York from the UJA to help you on the 
campaign? 

Swig: On occasion. Not greatly, no. We ran our own campaign. 
Glaser: As you got bigger and bigger you had your own manpower. 
Swig: That's right. 



Promoting Leadership 



Glaser: When you were appointed the vice-president in 1968, was it clear 
that you were on-line to become the president? 

Swig: I think that was the trend at that time. I think John Steinhart 
preceded me. It was understood that I would follow him. 

Glaser: So there was a moving up on the ladder in a very definite 

progression. What input did the professional staff have to do 
with that, with the grooming of who was going to be next? 

Swig: I think they had a lot to do with it because they knew who were 

the people who were working the hardest and doing the best job and 
who were the most qualified and who could raise the most money. 

Glaser: Did you see this with other people? How people were spotted and 
moved up and groomed? 



57 



Swig: I saw it then and I see it now. 
Glaser: Is this an effective way? 

Swig: I think it is. Today more than then there are more lay people 
involved with doing the selection. But it's a limited group of 
people, the insiders so to speak, who have worked the hardest on 
the campaigns , who know who can produce and who are the natural 
leaders . 

Glaser: If the lay people are involved, does it make it more democratic? 

Swig: It's somewhat democratic but it's also autocratic in the sense 
that the broad spectrum of people really don't have much input 
into it. 

Glaser: You bring a slate to the annual meeting and that's it, right? 

Swig: Yes, pretty much. But it's effective because we the people who 
work on those things know who are the best bodies, who are the 
best leaders, who will do the best job. 



Trip to Israel and Suez Canal. 1970 



Glaser: In 1970, when you were the vice-president, you went on a mission 

to Israel. That included the Suez Canal. Do you want to tell me 

about your experiences at the Suez Canal? It seemed to be 
something special. 

Swig: It was special; I remember it very clearly. I didn't remember the 
year, but I remember my first trip there. I've been there a 
couple of times. First of all, the experience of going there and 
seeing the Suez Canal, it's almost like seeing the Colosseum in 
Rome for the first time. It's a very great experience. I think 
it was on that trip that we flew down to the Sinai area in army or 
air force paratroop planes. It's kind of a rough ride and not 
very pleasant. Then they took us by bus right up to the Suez 
Canal. We were looking out at the Egyptian soldiers on the other 
side. We saw our own troops --our own troops being the Israeli 
troops --guarding the eastern shore of the Suez Canal. It was a 
very good experience seeing the Canal for the first time. 

Glaser: Did you feel you were in danger? 



58 



Swig: Not really. We waved at the Egyptian soldiers, [laughter] We 
felt no problem with that. But we saw some beautiful young 
Israeli boys down there. I have a picture at home that I can 
recall of a handsome, movie -star like young Israeli boy. He made 
such an impression on us . I remember his face, I can almost see 
it right this moment. Beautiful kid. They were down there on the 
canal doing their duty. They protected that country very, very 
well. 

Glaser: That must be very hot duty. 
Swig: It is hot down there. 



59 



X FEDERATION PRESIDENT, 1971-1972 



Campaign 



Glaser 



Swig: 



Glaser 



Swig: 



In 1971 you became the president, 
yourself as president? 



Did you have any goals for 



Well, the important goal was to keep the flow going and gather 
more money and do a better job. We did. The campaigns that I was 
involved with, I know that we upgraded ourselves every year in 
terms of fundraising. We did a good job. Every year that I 
happened to have been involved, I seemed to recall that we raised 
more money and that's always the important part of our program. 

While you were president Frannie Green was campaign chairman, and 
she brought in the largest amount to date, which was $6,600,000. 

I think she was. That's right. When I was the campaign head we 
raised $2,500,000 and that was the highest ever raised in the City 
before. You can see the progress that was made over the years and 
how well it worked. 



Professional Staff 



Glaser: What was your relationship to the professional staff? 

Swig: The professional staff was not as good as it should have been in 
my opinion. I think I was instrumental in causing a change to be 
made. I went to Jesse Feldman very early on in his 
administration, which followed mine, and discussed with him the 
problems that I felt were present and told him I thought it was 
time for a change. Jesse said, "Why didn't you do it?" I said, 
"Jesse, the reason I didn't do it is because by the time you 
assimilate all the material that is necessary to understand why a 



60 



change ought to be made, it's already too late to do it. 
telling you early on. 



I'm 



I got together with all the other past presidents and we sat 
and we met. We discussed the problems, what at least I felt were 
the problems , of operating the Federation and what kind of help we 
needed to do a better job." Jesse finally said, "Okay, I hear 
you. I'll study it and then I'll go to work and we'll see what 
can be done . " 

I didn't bother him anymore. That was it, I think, about 
March of his first year. That was the last time we met that 
subject. 

Glaser: Are you talking about the San Francisco Seven? 
Swig: I don't know about the San Francisco Seven. 

Glaser: Somebody told me that those who worked to bring in Brian Lurie in 
place of Mr. Weintraub were called the San Francisco Seven. 

Swig: I hadn't heard that statement, but I guess that they could be 

called that. I didn't know there were seven; I didn't count them. 

Glaser: But you are talking about after Mr. Treguboff took retirement. 

Swig: Treguboff was long gone by this time. 

Glaser: He left in 1970. 

Swig: Yes. He left in 1970. I became president, when, 1971? 

Glaser: 1971. 

Swig: 1971-1972, right? 

Glaser: Right. 

Swig: Yes. Well, Treg was gone, out as the executive, and Weintraub was 
then the executive. I found that they were not functioning in the 
way that I felt that it ought to function. That's what brought 
about this whole issue. So we left Jesse on his own after March. 
In January I started on him, or maybe it was late December. I 
don't even remember which, but somewhere in there. At the end of 
March, we finished our deliberations with him and then he was on 
his own to do what he felt was right. He finally agreed that 
obviously what I had said was correct and he went about making the 
change . 



61 



Glaser: I will talk with you about that when we talk a little later on 

about Brian [Lurie]. I am trying to just keep to the presidency 
now. 

Swig: Okay, [chuckles] 

Glaser: What was the relationship between the lay people and the 
professionals when you were the president? 

Swig: It was only moderately good. That was one of my problems. 
Glaser: Did the lay people need more direction? 

Swig: They needed a more compatible type of individual who could turn 

people on rather than turn people off. Lou is a very nice guy, I 
don't want you to get me wrong there. I'm not trying to condemn 
him, but his personality didn't fit too well with a lot of people 
in the community. He was a loner type of individual. I don't 
think he had the broad perspective or maybe didn't see the broad 
perspective as, at least I felt and others felt, should be done 
for our community. I didn't think it was working too well. 
Therefore I made the suggestion for change. I guess it worked 
very well because Brian came along and obviously did a 
tremendously successful job. 



Federation Agencies 



Glaser: When you were president, what was the relationship with the 
agencies? 

Swig: I think that it was adequate. It wasn't superb, it was adequate. 

Glaser: You had the chairman or the president of each of agencies sitting 
on the board at that time? 

Swig: Yes, they did. I believe so. 

Glaser: How much oversight did the Federation have with the agencies? 

Swig: Quite a lot. We checked them out very carefully and we watched 

their progress. We saw where they spent their money, overhead and 
so forth and so on, and carefully watched them. That was part of 
the budget committee's responsibility, as well as the on-going 
social planning work. In those days the budget committee was not 
a social planning committee. We had a social planner on our 
staff. Mike Papo hadn't come yet. But Mike Papo , for instance, 



62 



was a social planner when he first started with the Federation. 
That was important to know: what the needs of the community were, 
where we should emphasize, what we should de-emphasize , and so 
forth. So that became very important, was important to us. 

Glaser: Did you attend any agency board meetings? 

Swig: On rare occasions. 

Glaser: I know some presidents made it a habit to do that. 

Swig: Those who had more time I'm sure did. [chuckles] 

Glaser: In 1971 you suggested a capital funds drive and a population 

study. Actually, I think the capital funds drive didn't really 
get under way until 1974, after you were president. Can you tell 
me any of the results of the population study? 

Swig: I don't think it was an in-depth study of population. It wasn't 
anything like what happened within the last three years. As a 
matter of fact it was perfunctory and I don't think it was very 
effective. What we did do and we did plan was the capital funds 
drive, which was very important at that time. 

Glaser: I gather that half of the funds raised were to go to the hospital 
and the other half to be shared by the United Jewish Community 
Centers, the Bureau of Jewish Education, and the Jewish Home for 
the Aged. 

Swig: Yes, I think that was it. That's my memory. 



Changes During Presidencies 



Glaser: In your term as president there was the establishment of the 

combined social planning and budgeting committee, the committee of 
100. 

Swig: Maybe it was. I can't remember exactly when it happened. I know 
it did happen some time very close to them. I can't remember 
whether it was just at that time or just afterwards. But it was 
established. I felt from my perspective that it was important for 
the community to have such a thing. Not to be just going wildly 
supporting anything that came along, that we ought to have a 
knowledge of what the needs of the community were. Also checking 
our organizations that were in place. Are they still valid? Are 
they still necessary? What do they perform? What are we doing? 



63 



How are we helping the community? Those things are important to 
know in order to satisfy the needs of the community and do a good 
constructive job. I think we started in to do that. 

Glaser: Has the number of people on the committee become unwieldy? I 

understand it has increased from 100 it went to 120 and to 140. 

Swig: I haven't worked on that committee so I really don't have a lot of 
knowledge of it. But it seems to function very well. As a matter 
of fact, it has been expanded since the beginning. It's bigger 
now than it even was then. So I have to presume that it is 
working fairly effectively. 

Glaser: And a lot of subcommittees. 

Swig: A lot of subcommittees, and those are the people who really do the 
work. 

Glaser: Did you enjoy the presidency? 

Swig: Yes. I think I did very much. It's a big responsibility. If you 
do the job correctly it requires a lot of work. I maybe shouldn't 
say this but I wish I had had a Brian Lurie to work with. I think 
I would have enjoyed it more. 



Jewish Vocational and Employment Guidance Service 



Glaser 



Swig: 



During your administration, the Jewish Vocational and Employment 
Guidance Service was established on a two-year trial basis. Did 
you feel perhaps that that should be part of the Jewish Family 
Service Agency? 



No. That thought never crossed my mind. 
I don't think they are related exactly. 



They do separate work. 



Programs for Young People and Stronger Jewish Identification 



Glaser: Many programs for youth were developed during your administration 
A great number. Can you tell me how that came about? 

Swig: As I recall, it was during that administration that we had the-- 
what did we call them? The young people's groups out of which 
developed some of the future leadership of the Federation. 



64 



Glaser: The Bay Area Jewish Youth Council? 

Swig: No. It was a group of unmarried singles really, mostly. 

Glaser: Oh, the YAD? 

Swig: The YAD- -Young Adults Division. The Young Adults Division really 
sprouted and I did attend their meetings. I remember we had a 
meeting down at Fisherman's Wharf, and I know that I went to other 
places and met with those young people. Those young people turned 
into some of the future leaders of our Federation. A lot of 
marrying went on with the young people. It was very good. I 
guess they have all these singles things today. I guess this was 
the equivalent of it at that time, but for a very healthy and good 
cause. I was very taken with that. I liked that. I thought that 
was the way the Federation should move, get those young people 
involved. 

We still do that. We do that very strongly to this day, 
only probably even more so today than we did then. We do have a 
young cadre of people who are coming along always and moving 
through into leadership positions in the Federation. That is very 
healthy and very good. 

Glaser: Aside from that, there were programs funded with an emphasis on 
students. This Bay Area Jewish Youth Council that I mentioned, 
Hillel programs at Berkeley and Stanford were funded and there was 
a North American Jewish Students Appeal. 

Swig: They weren't that powerful in the organizational structure; they 
were just newly developed things that were just beginning to come 
along, I think, at that time. They weren't a very big, major 
development, although the YAD was the far more important of all of 
those things. At that time, incidentally, as I recall it was 
early on, maybe even before me, we had Brian Lurie over at Temple 
Emanu-El sending young people to Israel. The confirmation classes 
were sending their kids to Israel for the summer for a two or 
three week program, I believe. 

That was marvelous, and to this day we send kids by the 
bucketful compared to what we were doing then. Brian was the guy 
who instituted that and got it moving. As a matter of fact, there 
were some people at that temple who, as I recall, resented it. It 
caused a little bad blood with him and the rabbi at that time. 

Glaser: Between Brian and Rabbi Asher? 
Swig: Yes. 



65 



Glaser: In a speech to the YAD in 1972 you stated that the funding of all 
these different youth programs shows a trend toward more Jewish- . 
oriented programs; that the allocations indicate more funds going 
to agencies with distinctively Jewish content and less to health 
and welfare agencies. That sounds like a whole new direction. 

Swig: It was. All you have to do is look at the allocations in Jewish 
education as an example. It went from whatever percentage it was 
at that time to this kind of a percentage over a period of not too 
many years . 

Glaser: But at your time, during your presidency, what brought about this 
development? 

Swig: I don't remember exactly. But the feeling of the community, as I 
recall, was a much stronger feeling for Jewish identity. The way 
it expressed itself was with day schools, the Bureau of Jewish 
Education contributing a stronger and important involvement with 
the young people of our community. I think the parents approved 
of this and wanted this. I had the feeling at that time, and 
still think I was right, that part of that, however, was the 
breakdown of our public school system brought about partly with 
some racial problems (busing and the like). And that the parents, 
in order to avoid that kind of thing and not being able to afford 
all the private schools, sent their kids to Jewish parochial 
schools. I think that was a part of it. 

But at the same time, there was a stronger feeling on the 
part of these families that they wanted a stronger Jewish 
identification for their children. It was kind of a mixture of 
both, I think. 

Glaser: Would part of this come about because you had a lot of new people 
coming in from other parts of the country? 

Swig: I think that was a part of it. I really feel that a fair amount 
of it, however, was the busing situation and the decline of the 
public schools. They wanted therefore to, in effect, protect 
their children. I think that was that percentage. The Jewish 
identification was also prominent at that time. As a matter of 
fact it has been expanded upon over the years. There has been a 
much stronger push in that direction. 



66 



Jewish Day Schools 



Glaser: I want to ask you about Jewish education; during your 

administration you had a lot of difficulty. You had a sit-in. 

Swig: A very unfortunate incident. 
Glaser: Would you tell me about that? 

Swig: Well, we had and have a rabbi out at the Hebrew Academy who wanted 
to run all the Jewish education in this community. 

Glaser: Rabbi Pincus Lipner? 

Swig: Yes. And he made some public utterances that were not in the best 
interests of the Jewish community at large. And he did some 
things with the city building department and the permits that were 
not in conformity with the local rules. He just did a lot of bad 
things, and he wasn't very happy with the Federation and the 
support he was getting from them. The Federation conversely was 
not very happy with him because he wasn't doing the right thing, 
in our opinion. 

So they held a sit-in because we were cutting off our 
allocations to him. So he sent down a bunch of kids one afternoon 
I guess it was, or one morning, I've forgotten. Anyway, I called 
in Sam Ladar and John Steinhart, Bob Sinton, Lou Weintraub and 
myself. Lou was all for calling the cops and getting rid of the 
guys and doing all that. I said, "Hold the phone," as did the 
others. "That's not the way to handle it. That's only going to 
create a bigger disturbance and that's what they are looking for. 
Let them sit in." So we had one of our people stay overnight with 
them, sit in with them, so that we would not have damage and have 
trouble. It went reasonably peacefully. 

The next morning I came down and they wanted to meet with me 
and I said, "Sure, I'll meet with them." And I did. They told me 
what was on their mind and I told them what was on mine. I had 
all our people there with me, I didn't do it alone, and we met. 
And they got up. That was the end of it. 



Glaser: Did you feel these young people were manipulated by Rabbi Lipner? 
Swig: Unquestionably they were. They were his disciples. 
Glaser: These were college kids; they weren't high school kids? 



67 



Swig: 
Glaser 

Swig: 
Glaser: 



Swig: 



Glaser 
Swig: 

Glaser: 
Swig: 



I believe they were a little older than high school. 

What was going on at the Bureau of Jewish Education through all 
this turmoil? 



They were not sympathetic to Lipner. 
everybody ' s neck . 



He was a noose around 



You appointed a committee to study the situation of Jewish day 
schools. That resulted in the combining of Brandeis and the 
Hillel day schools. What was the situation with either of them 
that they could work better combined? 

I don't remember it in full detail, but I do recall that we 
thought we needed a strong school that would satisfy the appetite 
of the local people and could provide better service and be a 
stronger institution. I think that's what actually happened. The 
two of them alone were not doing the job as well as one combined 
could do it. That's what I seem to remember. But that was a long 
time ago; I'm not exactly sure. 

What was your personal feeling about funding Jewish day schools? 

I personally am not a proponent of Jewish day schools. I have 
always made myself clear on that. On the other hand, the 
community wanted it and I supported it because they wanted it. 

Why were you against it? 

My personal observation is that we are a multi- ethnic, multi 
racial, multi-religious society. Basically I feel that our 
children should be exposed to that way of life and shouldn't be 
separatists. I don't believe particularly in parochial schools. 
It's a personal observation. I think we should learn to get along 
with our neighbors and be a part of the total society. I think 
our Jewish education can come about either at afternoon schools 
and/or at the various temples and synagogues. That's where I feel 
the Jewish education should take place. In our daily school, it 
should be done either in a public school or in a private, non- 
sectarian school. That's a personal observation. I feel rather 
strongly about it. 

My experience tells me that it's introspective and not broad 
enough to be a part of a total community. I think we as Jewish 
people should be a part of the total community, never losing our 
Jewish identity. I'm not for that but for showing our Jewish 
identity and being a part of a total community. I happen to 
believe strongly in that and I think I do do that in my life and 



68 



have done it. I am part of the total community very strongly, but 
nobody will ever think I am not Jewish. Everybody knows I am 
Jewish and what I stand for and what I believe in the Jewish 
community. I think that is important. 

Glaser: What kind of a job do the synagogues to with education for their 
young people? 

Swig: They weren't parochial schools. They were giving Jewish education 
at their Sunday schools. I don't know how far they went with 
their daily programs, but I know that on Saturdays and Sundays 
they had schools. They could obviously teach the religious part 
of what a temple is supposed to teach to the young people. They 
are not involved with history, geography, arithmetic and all the 
other things. They are just involved with religious education. I 
believe that that is important to have, not on a daily basis at a 
private sectarian school. I don't happen to approve of that 
personally. I think more people would disagree with me about that 
these days than agree with me. But that's my own feeling. 

Glaser: There seems to be more and more of a movement toward Jewish day 
schools . 

Swig: Yes, there is. I think it's brought about in part, incidentally, 
by the poor performance of our public schools. 

Glaser: I don't think that is it altogether. 
Swig: I don't think it is altogether. 

Glaser: I think there are people who feel that for our continuity as a 
people we need to know what our history is and what our ethics 
are, and to have a good grounding in Judaism. 

Swig: I'm all for them, if that's what they want Co do. I won't not 
support them because I have supported the 5ople who feel that 
way. However, I think an element, and I dc;'t know to what 
percentage, but an element of that is people who are avoiding 
sending their kids to public school and can send them to these 
parochial schools that are far less expensive than the private 
schools that are available today. The kids can get a reasonably 
good education there, as opposed to what they are getting out of 
the public schools. That's my personal observation, mind you, and 
I guess I'm in the minority of people who feel that way. 

Glaser: Well, I wanted your personal observation, your reaction to it all. 
Bill Lowenberg told me that you supported him when he was fighting 
against the proposed merger of the Bureau of Jewish Education and 
the San Francisco Jewish Community Center. 



69 



Swig: 
Glaser 

Swig: 



Glaser 



Swig: 
Glaser 

Swig: 

Glaser: 
Swig: 



I don't recall that. 

There was a movement for that in the '70s, and he felt that it 
should be kept separate. 

I think I would have agreed with that. I think that is the right 
way to go because the Bureau of Jewish Education not only supports 
the Jewish day schools but it supports the programs in the various 
temples and synagogues, so it has a dual function. I don't see 
how the Community Center can perform that function and perform it 
well. I think it takes something more than that to do. I'm sure 
that I would have supported it. In retrospect I'm glad I did 
support it. 

During your administration, there was a contested election. I 
don't know whether this was on the part of the Rabbi Lipner 
faction or it was another group. I think it probably was Rabbi 
Lipner 's group because there was an unhappiness with the amount of 
funds allocated by the Federation. 



He brought suit against us. 
don't believe. 



It wasn't a contested election, I 



No. Aside from the suit, there was a contested election. Then it 
was found that the petitions submitted didn't have sufficient 
signatures, and many of those people weren't even members. 

Yes. I think I vaguely remember that. It was not very important 
as it turned out, apparently. It wasn't a major significant move. 
It didn't have any groundswell support. 

And you're not certain of who was behind this? 

I am not surprised to think that it might be Lipner because I 
can't think of anybody else who would have done it. 



Israel 



Glaser: During your presidency what was the Federation's relationship to 
Israel? 

Swig: Strong. It always has been, I think. Most money in my opinion- - 
the big money- -was raised by Israel, because of Israel, for 
Israel. I always felt that the local community, local agencies, 
benefitted strongly from the fact that so much emphasis was put on 



70 



Israel, even to this day. When we want to raise money what do we 
do? We take people to Israel. When we want to influence the 
young people, we send them by the bucketful to Israel. Why? 
Because that is where the action is. That's where they learn and 
can see first hand what's going on in the world of Judaism. It's 
become the mother's milk, if you will, of raising money, of 
getting money, for our Federation. That's true all over the 
country. It isn't just here. I think to a large extent we were 
able to raise an increasing amount of money throughout the years 
because of the missions to Israel, the devotion to Israel and the 
love of Israel by all our people. 

Over the years, recently, there has been some conflict about 
some of the things that Israel does . But still we send people to 
Israel. Witness this last April when my brother and his wife led 
a wonderful mission- - 

Glaser: I was on that Mega Mission. 

Swig: Were you? Great. Well, you know what happened. It's still 

Israel. It's still the turn on. I don't think that changes. I 
still think it helps tremendously in the fundraising efforts of 
our Federation, which supplies the money (which I don't think it 
would otherwise would get to the extent that it does) for the 
local and national agencies. I think we do a good job because of 
it. 

Glaser: Is there any conflict between the needs of the local agencies and 
that money that goes to Israel? 

Swig: Conflict? Competition maybe is a better word. I don't think it's 
conflict. But over the years I think, because of the money that's 
been raised, there has been a lower percentage of the money going 
to Israel of the total campaign than there used to be. I know 
there is. We used to give 70-80 percent of our money to Israel or 
Israel -related. Today I think it is 45 percent. The dollars 
haven't decreased but the percentage has, mainly because we are 
raising more money. You mentioned the campaign that was $6.5 
million that Frannie Green raised. Today we're raising $18 
million. It's almost three times. 



So all those millions, if you look at the records you will 
see that they have gone to local agencies: Bureau of Jewish 
education, the schools that we're talking about, the Family 
Service Agency, and so forth. The Centers take a much bigger 
percentage of the money. So these agencies locally have grabbed 
off a much higher percentage of dollars of the increase than has 
Israel. But I think the money for Israel has remained fairly 
constant and gone up slightly. But the percentage dropped. 



71 



United Bay Area Crusade 



Glaser: There was a severe cut in the appropriation to the Federation from 
the United Bay Area Crusade. This had to impact on local 
agencies. What was done about that. 

Swig: I don't recall the incident that greatly, to be honest with you. 
I can't believe it was a huge cut. 

Glaser: Well, the Federation had to advance the United Jewish Community 
Centers $1500 a month for three months because of the cut. 

Swig: Yes, but that's not huge. That's fairly moderate. I believe that 
the United Way did cut. Their funding went down too. 

Glaser: It was a 12 percent for 1972. 

Swig: Yes, 12 percent. That money all went to local agencies. It 
didn't have anything to do with Israel or anything like that. 
It's all local. I guess we went out and raised more money. I 
guess that was the net result of it. I don't recall the incident 
that heavily. It wasn't that major a factor. 



Large Cities Budgeting Conference 



Glaser 

Swig: 

Glaser 

Swig: 

Glaser 

Swig: 

Glaser 

Swig: 



I assume as president, and perhaps as vice-president, you attended 
meetings of a Large Cities Budgeting Conferences? 

I had been to a couple of them. That's all. 

What did you get out of it? 

Not much. 

Not worth attending? 

I don't find them-- I'm not sure the need for it exists. 

They were to give you directions as to how to allocate funds for 
national organizations, is that right? 

National and local. 



72 



Glaser: And local also? 

Swig: Yes. 

Glaser: Would they know about the local agencies? 

Swig: They didn't perform much for me. What they did was they made 
recommendations and they were a clearing house for budgeting 
process. They had guidelines really. That's all they were. They 
weren't that important. It was just a guideline. We had the 
obvious work to do for ourselves . They performed a function but 
they weren't that important as far as I was concerned. 

Glaser: Maybe they were more important earlier. 

Swig: Maybe earlier on they were. But at that level I never found them 
to be that critical or that important. 



Positions After Presidency 



Glaser: You became chairman of the executive committee in 1974, and then 
in 1975 a bylaws revision made past presidents honorary directors 
for ten years with voting privileges. Was that something new? 

Swig: That was brand new. There were only at that time four past 

presidents alive, maybe five: my father, myself, John Steinhart, 
Bob Sinton, Sam Ladar, and maybe there was one other. But the 
older ones, my father's generation, didn't attend very many 
meetings so we gave them the privilege, obviously, of doing that. 
That's all it was. It didn't last for ten years. 

Glaser: They kept revising it after that. 

Swig: They kept revising it and I am, I think, an honorary member if I 
recall. They have voting power. 

Glaser: It's a shame that those past presidents like your father and 

others didn't attend it and give the benefit of their experience. 

Swig: They did on occasion but they weren't that heavily involved. 

Sinton, Ladar and I- -Steinhart, no- -maintained our interest. Sam 
until the day he died, which was only a very short time ago, was 
very much present. Sam devoted a huge amount of time. Sinton 
still does and I still do. Even though we're honorary, I have 
attended a fair amount of meetings over the years , including 



73 



executive committee. We work hard at it still. I don't go out 
and raise money today like I did. I don't work on committees and 
a lot of things like that, but I'm around when they need me. Like 
choosing the new executive director, Wayne Feins tein. I was on 
that selection committee. 



74 



XI FEDERATION EXECUTIVES 



Federation President Jesse Feldman Seeks New Executive. 1973 



Glaser: Yes, I understand you were on the search committee to replace 

Mr. Weintraub. That was during Jesse Feldman' s term of office. 

Swig: It happened in November of the first year of Jesse's term, which 
was a year after I was on. 

Glaser: Brian said that you were very influential in his coming back. 

Swig: You bet I was. 

Glaser: Could you expand on that? 

Swig: Normally in the selection of an executive director of a 

Federation, it goes through the Council of Jewish Federations or 
whatever it is. Which I think is another useless organization, 
but it gets a big turnout so I guess they're okay. I think they 
should be merged with other things but anyway. Jesse didn't go 
through that organization. It didn't make his selection. 

Jesse worked very hard in trying to find the right person to 
be in that job. He did it quietly. He met with only two, three 
or four people at the most, who kept it very quiet, and he worked 
very hard to find a good person. I can't tell you what he did 
because I don't know. I wasn't involved, I wasn't party to it. 
At the end of March of that year, he went on his own, did not 
consult with very many people. He came up with a candidate, Brian 
Lurie. 

When he did, I checked it out in New York because that's 
where Brian was working at that time. I had glowing, glowing, 
glowing reports about what Brian had accomplished and what he had 
done. A partner of mine in New York said, "I hate to see the guy 
go, Mel, but if you don't take him you guys are crazy. This is a 
guy who is very, very active in the Jewish causes of New York." 



75 



Opposition to Rabbi Brian Lurie 



Swig: So Jesse came to me and said, "I think I've got a problem. I need 
your support for Brian. There will be a few people in this 
community who will be quite vocal in their opposition to him." I 
said, "Jesse, you've got me in and I'll do anything I can to 
help." And I did. When it came push to shove we got through and 
it worked, and Brian was hired. A lot of bad blood on a few 
parts. 

Glaser: Do you want to name some of the people who were opposed to him? 

Swig: Well, Frannie Green was the principal opponent and she and her 

brother Lloyd [Dinkelspiel , Jr.] didn't want him in the worst way. 

Glaser: I thought her brother was for him. 

Swig: Oh no. Very strongly opposed. The reason was that he felt that 
the rabbi at Temple Emanu-El-- 

Glaser: Asher? 

Swig: Asher. That Rabbi Asher had an involvement with him, and Asher 

apparently felt that Brian didn't do right by him in some way. I 
don't know exactly what it was, I can't tell you. But Asher 
influenced Lloyd enough that Lloyd was just hot and heavy against 
Brian. I remember going to Lloyd's office with Doug Heller. His 
father had been president of the Federation from 1960 to 1962. 
Anyway, Doug and I went to see Lloyd at Lloyd's office and Frannie 
was there. They chewed us out, he did in particular, like you 
can't believe, like we were the worst guys who ever came down the 
pike. When we got through, after hs spouted everything out that 
he wanted to spout, we finally convinced him that he ought not to 
be opposed to it. He came around finally and didn't. I guess we 
did a good job on him because letting him vent his spleen and get 
it all off his chest he had nothing left to say, and the enmity 
stopped. Frannie and I to this day are good friends. We weren't 
mad at each other, but Lloyd was mad at the whole process. 

And I guess, in a way, if you look at it as far as the 
process was concerned, it wasn't the way that we handled this 
latest replacement. It was done the only way Jesse could have 
done it to get the results that he got, to hire the best guy in 
the business. Because had he gone through the normal chain, the 



76 



social work chain, because that's what the Council of Jewish 
Federations is-- 

Had he gone through them we would have gotten a whole bunch 
of guys whom they would have suggested, and they had to be social 
workers or they wouldn't have been satisfactory because that's 
their mentality. 

Social workers are not necessarily good administrators, not 
necessarily good fundraisers or know how to raise funds. That 
doesn't detract from social workers. Social workers are a very 
important part of our community. Some social workers are very 
good in this field. Without being a social worker, they still can 
be damn good, as Brian proved in doing the job that he did. That 
broke down that mystique about social workers being the only kind 
of people you can hire. Anyway we hired him. 

Glaser: Frannie Green told me she felt that if she had been a man it would 
have been handled it differently, that the whole business went 
around her, that she was left out of the circle. 

Swig: I don't think that's entirely-- Well, it might have been true at 
that. She hadn't been president yet so that's possible. But I 
relied on the ex-presidents when I first initiated the discussions 
with Jesse. They are the people you would rely on. These were 
the people who had the experience, who knew the people, knew the 
players, had proved themselves as leaders of this community. 

So yes, it's true. Although I had met with Frannie, I'm 
quite sure I did. Yes, I'm almost positive I did. But she wasn't 
in on the so-called inner circle, if you will, this group of seven 
if that's what they were. Let's see, there was Jesse, myself, 
John, Bob, Sam Ladar. I know Frannie was involved at a point in 
time, I just know she was there. I can't remember who the others 
were if any others were present. But that group in particular 
were the ones whom I relied on. I was out of office by that time, 
so I didn't do it as an officer of the Federation. 

I wanted Jesse to know what our findings were and the 
reasons for and so forth and so on. We met and we related it to 
Jesse. We met several times in the early months of that year 
until March. March was the last meeting. Jesse said, "Okay, I've 
heard you. Now let me do what I think is right." We laid off; 
that was the end of it. From that point he was on his own. 

Glaser: There was a very odd contract that was drawn up for Brian the 

first year. In his mind he was the executive director, but that 
really wasn't the title. He was executive director to Lou, who 



77 



was the executive vice-president. Lou Weintraub still kept the 
title. 

Swig: Yes, but he was wiped out. We got rid of him. Brian was the guy 
who was the replacement. I don't recall that Lou stayed on. Did 
he? 

Glaser: Yes, and after one year he was given an office upstairs. 
Swig: Yes, that's right, we did. 
Glaser: That was a nice gesture. 

Swig: Yes. It was only a way of keeping him on. I think that was an 
appeasement to Frannie , if I remember correctly. I think that's 
what it was. Lou was put upstairs in another office and kept away 
from the main body. It was a tokenism. He was being paid a 
salary, and he was paid a retirement situation. He was taken care 
of so he wouldn't be harmed. Nobody wanted to harm him; that 
wasn't the intent at all. We needed somebody who could do a job. 
He wasn't it. 

Glaser: But technically, that first year Brian wasn't the chief 
executive- - 

Swig: Yes, but he was. 

Glaser: But that's a technicality? 

Swig: A technicality. 

Glaser: What was your working relationship with Brian over the years? 

Swig: I was now through as president, but I still worked and still did 
my thing. I was still on board and still doing everything that I 
had to do to help the Federation. I had a very good relationship 
with Brian, still do. 

Glaser: Did he rely on your financial expertise? 

Swig: In part. We used to have, still did to practically the day he 
left, regular meetings. I met with Brian on a fairly regular 
basis . 



78 



Federation Headquarters Building 



Glaser 



Swig: 



Glaser 
Swig: 

Glaser 
Swig: 



Glaser 



Swig: 



I understand you helped raise quite a bit of money for the new 
building. 

I did. I got the Shorenstein group to work on the land, the loan. 
That was a very important part of the whole deal, to get the land. 
Walter Shorenstein and at that time Bud Levitas and Warren Epstein 
owned part of the land on which the building now sits. They 
contributed not entirely but a fairly good, significant part of 
the land to the Federation. That's how we were able to get the 
land to build the building. 

But you also did fundraising. 

Then we also did fundraising. It took $7 million, if I recall 
correctly, at that time to build that building. 

You brought in a very large amount from the Herbs t Foundation. 

I don't recall exactly. Yes, we all went out and raised money and 
we all gave. The Haases and Koshlands and my father and the rest 
of us all pitched in and did our number, and the building carries 
those three names in the hallway. They are the people that the 
building was named for. 

Was it a good idea to have a headquarters building rather than 
renting? Because you tie up a lot of money. 

It's money that probably otherwise wouldn't be raised, and we own 
it free and clear. There are no mortgages on it. So it cost us 
less over the years than what it would have cost to rent in that 
regard. 



Wavne Feinstein. New Federation Executive. 1991 



Glaser: Tell me about the search committee for Brian's replacement that 
you were on. 

Swig: Don Seiler headed that up and he put together a good group of 
people. Some were past presidents: Sinton, myself, Annette 
[Dobbs], Seiler himself and some other nice younger people. 



Glaser: And your sister-in-law [Cissy Swig]. 



79 



Swig: My sister-in-law was on it. They asked the right questions, they 
did the right research and we wound up with the best candidate. 

ft 

Swig: I had a phone call this morning from Cleveland asking me who we 
hired to replace Brian, and when I told him who it was he said, 
"Hey, you got a good one. You did well." He knew of Wayne 
[Feinstein]. I don't know whether he knew him personally or how 
well he knew him but he knew of him, and he was very pleased that 
we had hired such a good person. 

Glaser: Is Wayne going to function much like Brian? 

Swig: He learned under Brian so in part I guess he will. But as he 
matures into his job he'll have his own direction, I hope. 
Nothing stays static, there will be all new kinds of ideas and 
other things happening, and I hope he'll move with the times and 
do the best job possible. I think he will. He's young, he's 
bright and he knows the community pretty well. I think he'll do a 
good job. 

Glaser: It will be interesting to watch. 

Swig: It will be. It's tough to follow in Brian's shoes. It wasn't 
like Brian following in the shoes that he followed; because so 
many new things were happening at that time that Brian led the 
whole thing in a new direction. As a matter of fact, he led the 
country in a new direction and did a super job. But whether that 
many changes will take place in the next few years, who knows? 
With Brian in New York it's possible, and I hope Wayne will follow 
whatever the good pattern will be. 




Three past Federation presidents, Melvin M. 
Steinhart, 1978. 



Swig, Benjamin H. Swig, John H. 



80 



XII JEWISH COMMUNITY ENDOWMENT FUND 



Early Executives : Growth and Uses of Funds 



Glaser: I want to ask you about your involvement with the Endowment Fund, 
which was established in 1976 as the standing committee. Of 
course, it had been in existence long before then, but then it 
became a standing committee. Marshall Kuhn was the director 
originally. You were on that committee starting from 1976, 
weren't you? 1 

Swig: I think I was. 

Glaser: Would you describe the makeup of the Endowment Fund, because I 
understand there are various bits and pieces in it. 

Swig: Well, there are. The Endowment Fund was very small at that time, 
relatively small. We had discussed over the years of building it 
up and letting it do some good things in the community. I can't 
remember the exact sequence of events. It's too hard to remember 
those. But we started to move in the direction of getting-- I 
guess Phyllis Cook had come on board later on but Carole Breen- - 

Glaser: She followed Marshall Kuhn. 

Swig: Carole did a good job. She did quite a nice job; she's a nice 
gal. But the fund was in the growing stages at that time. We 
were maturing but it wasn't turning on big numbers the way it did 
later on. But the ground work was laid to do that. I think, if I 
recall, Marshall passed away not too long afterwards. I forget 
when he passed away but it's been quite some years now. 2 Marshall 
was a wonderful guy and I have nothing but warm and wonderful 



] In 1986, Mr. Swig received the first Council of Jewish Federations 
Endowment Achievement Award. 

Marshall Kuhn died May 18, 1978 



81 



memories of him. He and John Steinhart and I , as I told you 
earlier, went to Europe together and to North Africa and so forth. 
He was terrific. He always was a great supporter of the 
Federation, did wonderful things and was a marvelous human being. 



Anyway he started out. But then Carole came on and Carole 
enlarged upon what had happened. But it really didn't truly take 
off, I think, until Cookie [Phyllis Cook] was there. She just led 
it to a new dimension. Carole left for a reason that I can't 
remember. I think she found another thing that she wanted to do, 
and that's when Phyllis came on board. She just took off like a 
son-of-a-gun. Things have just sprouted since then. We're up in 
the multi, multi-millions and we were in the low millions early 
on. Now some of the foundations that were separate foundations 
from the Federation have become a part. That was Brian's (and 
Treg's) doing. They've become a part of that fund. 

Glaser: Well, Mr. Treguboff brought the Newhouse Foundation into the 
Endowment Fund. 

Swig: That's right. Treg did before he died. That's right. 
Glaser: You had the Eva Kohn Helping Fund, 
[phone conversation] 

Swig: All the guys who are running for president, I'm getting calls from 
all over the place. 

Glaser: I'll ask you later on about your political activities. 

Swig: The Eva Heller Kohn did come on board. I think there were two or 
three. I guess the one from, not Mt. Zion, but Maimonides Health 
Center came on too. 

Glaser: The Maimonides Trust for a while was separate but with some 
oversight from the Federation, I believe. 

Swig: It always had an oversight but it was an independent authority. 
Glaser: Right. Was it eventually brought in? 

Swig: I think it was eventually brought in so that it became a part of 
it. Now all of those foundations are a part of the Endowment 
Fund. We are up to $60 odd million or something like that. Maybe 
it's $70 million today. Over the years with a series of guys, the 
usual crew helping, the usual crew being guys like Peter Haas, 
Claude Rosenberg, Bob Sinton, Gerson Bakar, Mel Swig, and I guess 



82 



there were some other sets of names that escape me at the moment. 
Oh, Merv Morris and Don Seller. All those people pitched in and 
really did a job on the community. Rhoda Goldman. Today it's 
just going like gangbusters. People are coming in with big 
amounts of money, doing wonderful things, and our Endowment Fund 
is building up, building up and building up. It's doing very 
well. 

Glaser: How are the funds from the Endowment Fund used? 

Swig: They are used for projects that are not in the normal budgeting 
thing. They are usually one or two-time shots, sometimes as 
capital funds. For instance when the community center in Marin 
came in, we supplied money for that. We lent money if I recall 
and got repaid, or are supposed to get repaid. I think the 
Schultz Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto we are involved in. 
We give special projects money. I'm not that involved with the 
daily operations of that deal, but they are special projects which 
are funded by the Endowment Fund. 

Glaser: Does the Federation itself get support from the Endowment Fund? 

Swig: Some support, yes. 

Glaser: For? 

Swig: For a part of the overhead. 

Glaser: But you have capital funds and then you have philanthropic funds, 
is that right? 

Swig: Yes. A lot of people give money to the philanthropic fund, give 

it and then give away their money out of that fund. For instance, 
if a guy has a good year and he wants to take a deduction that 
year, he will put the money into the philanthropic fund. It stays 
there; he gets a deduction in that year. You don't have to give 
the money away for two or three or four years or ten years . The 
interest can give money away for a period of many years. 

Glaser: It's almost like a holding place. 

Swig: That's right. It's a reservoir of funds. I'll give you an 
example. We have a foundation that we are giving to the 
Federation to insure our gift in case our kids don't want to be 
good kids. This will insure our gift to the Federation. 

Glaser: So that's in the philanthropic fund? 



83 



Swig: That will be in the Endowment Fund. We are giving a foundation of 
ours to the Federation. The Federation will have four board 
members, we in our family will have three, and it will operate. 

Glaser: My question was is that part of the philanthropic fund? 

Swig: No. That's part of the Endowment Fund. 

Glaser: I see, like the Newhouse Foundation. 

Swig: Exactly. 

Glaser: Aside from the separate foundations, separate funds, and the 

philanthropic funds, is the other part considered capital funds? 

Swig: Capital funds. In other words, if somebody wanted to give a 
million dollars to the Endowment Fund, we will use the income 
whichever way we see fit. 

Glaser: The committee that sits on this, how does that work as far as 
making decisions of allotting funds? 

Swig: Well, there is a fairly significant committee that sits in 

judgment of where the money goes. It's like a budget committee. 
It makes a decision whether it's going to help this, this, this or 
this. I think we use 5 percent of the income. It is available 
for funding each year. 

Glaser: You have separate subcommittees, don't you? 
Swig: There are subcommittees, yes. 
Glaser: On health, education, etc. 

Swig: whatever. A variety of items. After these subcommittees perform, 
it goes to the total committee , the total committee makes the 
final judgment which is then presented to the board of directors 
of the Federation. That is usually approved. 

Glaser: Did the Council of Jewish Federations help you set up the 
Endowment Fund? 

Swig: No. They may have some input with Cookie. I don't know. Cookie 
being Phyllis Cook. [chuckles] 

Glaser: In 1983 there was a new policy that the Federation proposals "must 
go to the executive committee first before going to the full 
Endowment Committee." I am confused whether the executive 



84 



committee means the Federation executive committee or the 
Endowment Fund executive committee. 

Swig: I guess it would be the Endowment Fund executive committee. 

Glaser: In 1983, the Endowment Fund had a two-phase grant process because 
of large capital funds outlays from the corpus to the Jewish Home 
for the Aged, Schultz Center, day schools and of course the new 
headquarters building. What was this two-phase grant? 

Swig: I don't recall. I know we gave money to the Schultz Center; I 

mentioned that. I know we gave capital money to the day schools, 
both the Hebrew Academy and the Brandeis-Hillel. We gave money to 
the Marin Community Center across the Bay. That's not the same 
time. What was the other one you mentioned? 

Glaser: The home. 

Swig: Jewish Home for the Aged? 

Glaser: Yes. 

Swig: I don't recall. What year was that? 

Glaser: Nineteen eighty- three. 

Swig: Yes. That could have been the year that they added the wing on. 
They added a new wing at that time. I'm guessing that's what it 
went for. 

Glaser: Then in 1989 you became the vice-chairmen of Endowment 
development. That must have been quite a job. 

Swig: It was. Took time. I tell you, Phyllis Cook does such a 

wonderful job, she makes it a lot easier. She's a one-man gang. 
She does a super job on this. The community has accepted the 
Endowment Fund very well. We've just made progress in building up 
this Endowment Fund. We're doing better and better every day. 
Lots of money is coming in to the Endowment Fund along the lines 
that I just mentioned to you. 

Glaser: But what did you personally do in the development phase? 

Swig: Well, we've held meetings and they are usually held in my office 
among this group. Out of this group we've gotten a lot of money, 
from guys like Gerson Bakar, Claude Rosenberg, Bob Sinton, Peter 
Haas, Mel Swig, and other people who have donated quite 
significant sums of money. Leaving it in the Endowment Fund to do 



85 



whatever they decide they want to do with it, in whichever way 
they want to handle it. 

I told you we gave a significant number and we're turning 
over a foundation to them. We control it in the sense that they 
would listen to us. We don't control it; they control it. But 
they will certainly take advice from us as to where we want the 
money spent. But when we're gone, if our kids don't shape up, 
they could take it over and do what they want. 

Glaser: Who is going to oversee it at that point, if they take it over? 
Swig: The Endowment Fund and the board of the Federation. 




Melvin M. Swig and Robert E. Sinton honored by Jewish Community 
Endowment Fund, 1989. 



86 



XIII DISPUTE WITH JEWISH AGENCY 



Support for Brian Lurle 



Glaser: I want to talk to you about your support of Brian when the Jewish 
Agency dispute came up. That's a big topic. Do you have time? 

Swig: We have about ten, fifteen more minutes because I've got an all- 

day meeting tomorrow at USF and I have got to get cleaned up. But 
go ahead. 

Glaser: Well, I think this will take more than ten minutes. Should we 
wait? 

Swig: No it won't. 

Glaser: No? All right. [laughs] Let's talk about it then. 

Swig: Brian had some ideas as to the Jewish Agency. When he was 

overseas in Israel at the Jewish Agency meeting, he brought up the 
subject of restructuring the Jewish Agency. He was beaten up on 
at that time pretty badly by the people in charge at that time , 
the fellow from Baltimore- - 

Glaser: Chuck Hof fberger . 

Swig: Chuck Hof fberger. Max Fisher also took him on pretty well and 

some others. Well, he came back here to this board and got very 
strong support from the local community and the board of 
directors. We all raised the issues that were obvious. And were 
we harming support for Israel by doing what we were doing? We 
finally concluded that no, we might be helping. We invited 
Fisher; Chuck Hof fberger; the architect from Chicago, Ray Epstein; 
and a couple of others whose names escape me at the moment. We 
had a knock down, drag- out at our board meeting room. We could 
see that there was a little warming up to our ideas by some 
people, not Hof fberger and not Max Fisher. But other people 
present, Ray Epstein, nice guy, came up on our team and were 
supportive as were a couple of the other people who were there. 



87 



Then things started to break down, and it became a melting kind of 
situation. But Brian got the support from our Federation very, 
very strongly. 

Glaser: Describe what it was he wanted the Federation went along with. 

Swig: The Jewish Agency had become a politicized kind of agency. The 
religious establishment in Israel in part was controlling it. 
Lots of money was going to different things that we weren't too 
happy about, still are not in many respects. That isn't resolved 
100 percent yet. We felt that we should become- -well, let me put 
it this way. At that time, not today, this was before the 
Russians came, the rescue/rehabilitation efforts of Israel were 
pretty much over. All the Jews had come out of the various 
countries where they needed to come out of, substantially. Let's 
say, 95-98 percent. There was no need for rescue/rehabilitation. 
We had to change our direction; we had to look at where we were 
going with the funding. It couldn't be business as usual like it 
used to be. We didn't need to do some of the things that we were 
doing. Just because we had done them didn't mean that we should 
perpetuate them. Let's change and look and see if there weren't 
new agencies that needed help and needed new things. 

We decided in our Federation that we were going to take 
$100,000 a year and we were going to allocate it. This didn't set 
very well with a lot of people, obviously. But you know what? 
Pretty soon, the groundswell of support around the country came in 
our direction. At first there was great opposition. All of 
sudden LA and Cleveland and other places said, "Hey, you guys are 
okay. You're thinking right. We have duplication of expenses and 
money." Agencies were duplicated; there was great waste. It 
became bureaucratic like any big organization run on a quasi - 
public type operation. 

The result was that they brought in Mendel Kaplan, who still 
is the national/international head of it. A wonderful guy, 
understands the problems, and is doing things about it. They 
changed the process in Israel where the government intervention 
has become lessened. The government had a big action there. They 
were telling everybody what to do and how to do it. We started to 
eat into their operation, if you will, and we succeeded in pulling 
the government out of a lot of it. It's got a long way to go yet. 
Brian is now in New York and in a position where he can do much 
more than he ever could working here, and I'm sure he will. 

So he's on a track that I think will make more meaningful 
the monies that we will present to Israel. Now, with all the 
Russians coming in, it's like apple pie and ice cream today 
because now we are raising money all over again for 



Glaser 

Swig: 

Glaser 



Swig: 
Glaser 



Swig: 



88 



rescue/rehabilitation, which is really what we were all about in 
the first place: bringing people into Israel. That's why we were 
founded. We got away from it in part. 

Now we're back on the track and now we have Operation Exodus 
and all those new things that are raising additional, huge sums of 
money for Israel to support the new immigration process that's 
going on. There will be, they say, something close to a million 
Jews coming in within a five year period. That's a lot of people. 
Israel's population is about 4.5 million. You take another 
million; it's a big hunk of people. It's like us taking fifty, 
one hundred million people into this country. When you think of 
it, it's almost 25 percent of their population. We've got 250 
million people; it's like us taking in 60 million people into this 
country, what Israel's doing. You could imagine what the impact 
would be here . 

So in Israel, it is a very, very tough deal that they are 
going through. Today Mr. Bush made some very bad statements about 
Israel. ] 

Oh, something new? 

Terrible. Watch your news tonight and you'll see. 

Let me just finish up by asking you, in that meeting here with 
representatives of the Jewish Agency and United Jewish Appeal, I 
understand that you narrated a slide show that presented the need 
for change . 

Yes, I did. I had forgotten about that. You've got a lot of 
information, haven't you. 

It's called research, [laughter] And then you stood up and made 
a family donation of $1 million. That just floored them. Even 
though Max Fisher is such a big man in Detroit, he had never given 
anything of that magnitude. 

Then I called Max a couple of weeks later and said, "Max, how 
about making a donation." And he did. 



Glaser: So this whole thing turned around right then and there? 



Reference is to remarks made by President Bush at a press conference, 
September 12, 1991, at which he insisted that Israel postpone for 120 days 
its request for $10 billion in housing loans guarantees. 



89 



Swig: Yes, we turned it around very nicely but it took some leadership 
to do it, and Brian is that kind of a leader. He had us to help 
and support him. 

Glaser: But I understand that there was a point in which the UJA asked the 
San Francisco Federation not to publicize what you were doing. 

Swig: That's right. We didn't pay any attention to that. 
Glaser: Then it all came out. 



90 



XIV MORE ON JEWISH COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT 
[Interview 4: October 30, 1991 ]## 

Jewish Community Bulletin. President, 1969-1971 



Glaser: You served on the Jewish Community Bulletin from 1969. John 

Steinhart told me that you took over as president when he became 
Federation president and he resigned from the Bulletin. Is that 
true? 

Swig: I believe that is true, yes. I've forgotten it but I think that's 
right. 

Glaser: Then when you became Federation president, did you go off the 
board of the Bulletin? 

Swig: I don't remember the sequence of time. No, I think that isn't how 
it happened. I don't remember the years, but I was on that board 
for a number of years. I think my term on there preceded John's 
arrival as president. I was on that board for several years and I 
can't remember how many. 

Glaser: Several years before you became Bulletin president? 

Swig: Before I became president. Maybe I succeeded him as president but 
not on the board per se. Do you follow what I'm saying? 

Glaser: Yes. Marcel Hirsch was president for years and years. 

Swig: That preceded us. I think we went on that board after Marcel went 
off the board. 

Glaser: He was on for years and years. 

Swig: He was on for a very long time, did a wonderful job. 

Glaser: He was the one who got Geoffrey Fisher as editor. 



91 



Swig: Yes. We interviewed Geoffrey. I think we all participated in 
that, if I recall correctly. Geoffrey became the head of the 
paper, and then Marcel retired from the paper about that time. 
John and I among others were on that board together. I can't tell 
you how much we overlapped but we were on it together for a number 
of years. Then John became president of the paper, head of the 
paper, and I guess I succeeded him when he became president of the 
Federation. Then when I became president of the Federation 
following him somebody else took over after that. 1 

Glaser: Did you go back on to the board of the paper after your 
presidency? 

Swig: I really can't recall. I don't remember the years. 

Glaser: Who were some of the other people who were serving on the board 
with you? 

Swig: You are going back a long time. My memory for names is not that 
good. Sue Brans ten, I think, was on there. There was a lawyer, 
Larry Goldberg, who was on there. I really don't remember all the 
people who were on there. You are going back probably twenty 
years ago, something like that, and I just don't really remember 
all the folks who were on. It changed too. I think Barbie 
Isackson was on. Barbara, I called her Barbie. Sue wasn't on 
there. There were other people who represented organizations that 
were intermittent who weren't permanent members. I can't remember 
all their names. 

Glaser: Were you on the board when there was somebody who was trying to 
get control of the paper? 

Swig: No. I think that was during Marcel's time. 

Glaser: Yes, it was. 

Swig: I don't think I was there. 

Glaser: There was a period of time when the newspaper needed more money as 
a subvention from the Federation. 

Swig: That happened during my time, I think, or maybe just afterwards. 
I can't quite remember it. 



J John Steinhart states that when his term as Federation president 
ended in 1971, he succeeded Mr. Swig as president of the Bulletin. This 
was at the time that Mr. Swig became president of the Federation. 



92 



Glaser: Was there any difficulty in getting that extra funding? 

Swig: There is always a little difficulty getting extra funding but we 
got it. [chuckles] I think that may have happened after I was 
off. You see, I find it a little dim only because having served 
on the board of the Federation for as many years as I've been on 
there, I can't remember whether that was a board action of the 
Federation or a board action of the newspaper. My guess is that 
it was a board action of the Federation that I'm recalling. The 
time of that need came at a later time, I think, as a matter of 
fact after Geoff Fisher had retired. I was not present at the 
time. I mean, I wasn't present on the board of the paper at the 
time that Geoff retired. I did not participate in that. 

Glaser: My notes show that this need for more money came after he became 
editor, not after he retired. 

Swig: Yes, but that was a relatively small amount of money compared to 
what the bigger amount of money was during the newer 
administration of the paper. 

Glaser: Yes, that's quite true. My notes show from $30,000 to $50,000 was 
the increase that he requested. 

Swig: Yes, at least that. 

Glaser: In the overall scheme that's really not a very big increase. 

Swig: Well, we changed the paper. We hired more people. We were kind 
of the forerunner for what subsequently happened on a much bigger 
scale. We made a much better paper and a more contemporary paper 
than what it had been because Gene Block- -God bless him, he was a 
wonderful human beinghad run the paper in a certain way for so 
many years, and it really hadn't changed very much and hadn't 
contemporized itself. I guess that's the best way to put it. 

So when we came on, we brought Geoff Fisher in who had come 
from St. Louis, I believe. He wanted to do some better things 
like putting on more management and more advertising sales, 
developing a new format for the paper different from what it had 
been before. We did all those things. It started an upward 
movement. It didn't go far enough as it has gone today but was 
certainly vastly improved over what we had. But we didn't have 
the money to do what they did today. And they eventually gave 
them a lot more money than what we had been given. 

So it moved onward and upward. We were the first force of 
change, if you will. Then subsequently there was a greater force, 



93 



Glaser 
Swig: 



Glaser: 



Swig: 



Glaser 



Swig: 



which was very good. The paper today is doing, I think, a very 
superb job. I don't always agree with everything they do, but it 
certainly does a superb job. 

Of course it's covering a much wider area. 

A much wider area. At the time I was on there we tried to make a 
deal with the East Bay Federation. Their paper was in trouble and 
we agreed to take over and help them out. It never happened. We 
initiated the discussions that time. Subsequently it happened. 
Today we have Santa Rosa and that whole area in the Federation, 
which we didn't have before. We now have the deeper Peninsula in 
the paper, which we didn't have before. So the paper's developed. 
It has a much broader readership. It has a much greater 
circulation. It therefore attracts more and better ads, which is 
what we were trying to do. We were just a little early at that 
time. Therefore, more money can be spent on the paper. We now do 
things in color, and we do a whole lot of wonderful things that 
have attracted a great deal more advertising and put a lot more 
people on. We had just initiated that kind of thinking at our 
level, and then eventually it took over and became better. 

With this increase in size and with the improvement, do you feel 
that the paper is more responsive to the Jewish community? 

I think it is. It certainly is not run by the Federation nor was 
it ever. A lot of people identify it and think that because it is 
subsidized by the Federation that it is run by the Federation. It 
is not. The Federation puts ads in there and gets some 
compensating advertising availability. But in terms of its 
editorials or its content, the Federation does nothing, to my 
knowledge, to ever influence it; it has little or no influence on 
it. So it is an independent operation, and that's the way it 
ought to be, in my opinion. 

In 1973, the Federation was under attack by a group of people who 
felt the Federation was not responsive to the needs of the Jewish 
poor. This group wanted to take out ads in the paper. There was 
a discussion in the Federation whether this should be permitted. 
It was the decision of the board of the paper that there was not 
going to be any censorship, either of ads or of letters to the 
editor, unless it was just too violent. It wasn't going to censor 
material. [Telephone rings.] 

Would you turn that off just a second? My wife is calling. [Tape 
turned off . ] 



Glaser: [Resumes] I'm going to reword that. The ads were taken in the 
Bulletin to urge the readers to throw out the insiders of the 



94 



Federation. The Bulletin decided to accept all ads that weren't 
slanderous. 

Swig: That's right. 

Glaser: But as far as the letters to the editor, they decided that they 

could not censor these. This was discussed by the Federation, but 
then the Bulletin was given free rein on that. 

Swig: As I recall, it was the Bulletin that initiated the discussion 
with the Federation. It was a Bulletin matter and it had to do 
with censorship. My recollection is that we decided that 
censorship was not proper for the paper. We had to take whatever 
which way it came . We elected to take those ads . I think 
Steinhart was involved on the paper at that time. I think we 
relied on his legal expertise to tell us about what we could 
handle and what we couldn't handle as to potential lawsuit 
problems . 

Glaser: When you say "we," do you mean the Federation? 

Swig: No, we the board of the paper. I think you had it right on. I 
don't know where you get your information [chuckles] but you did 
it well. We agreed to take the ads. We agreed to take the 
letters to the editor. We were careful to make sure that the ads 
were not inflammatory in any way that we would get in trouble 
legally. But I don't think that occurred. I think the ads were 
okay, as I recall. And we did it. It blew over and that was the 
end. I think it was a wise decision because it did blow over. 

Glaser: Probably wouldn't have if you attempted to-- 

Swig: If we turned it down we wouldn't have been behaving like a proper 
newspaper . 



Jewish Telegraphic Agency 



Glaser: 

Swig: 

Glaser 

Swig: 

Glaser 



You were a director of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency 

I still am. 

Is that right? 

Yes. 

What are your duties? 



95 



Swig: 

Glaser 
Swig: 



Raise money, 
occasionally. 



Now I don't do much. I go to a meeting very 



Glaser 
Swig: 

Glaser: 
Swig: 

Glaser: 



Where are the meetings held? 

The meetings are held in New York. If they coincide with other 
meetings I have in New York, when I am in New York I go to a 
meeting. As a matter of fact, they are held in our New York 
offices. My partner in New York, a fellow named Bob Arnow has 
been head of the JTA for a number of years. I am still the vice- 
president of JTA. I just sent a letter out accepting another term 
for another three years and told them that they should get a 
younger person who can attend the meetings better than I do. I 
would be happy to make the swap. But I'm still on there, even to 
this day. 

How many years has it been? 

Oh God. If you remember it, it must be a lot of years. 
[Laughter] 

Well, I got it from your list of things you are active in. So it 
is just a matter of raising money? Don't you oversee policy or 
any - - ? 

Yes, I do, as a matter of fact, check the notes, and I check the 

minutes, and I check things out carefully. If I have an objection 

or anything is not doing what I think, I let myself be known. But 
that doesn't happen very often. They do quite a good job. 



How does the Agency function? 
Bulletin. 



I see the byline on articles in the 



Swig: What they do is they have reporters all around the world. They 
are in England, in Israel, in the United States. They were in 
South America, I don't know if they are still, I don't remember. 
All those people are contributors to the JTA. They disseminate 
their material to all the Jewish newspapers around the country. 
They send out a daily bulletin of material [searches for Jewish 
Telegraphic Agency bulletin] . I read about more material in there 
than I ever see in our daily newspapers. A lot of information, a 
lot of material that is of interest to Jewish people all over the 
world never hits the daily paper. 

Glaser: Is that your waste basket you're going through? 

Swig: That's what I'm looking at. I probably turned them over to my son 
so I don't have it. [laughter] Those daily bulletins- -and they 
have weekly bulletins- -are sent out to people around the country, 



96 



Glaser 



Swig: 



of course to all the newspapers, and to the daily newspapers, the 
public newspapers. They are in my opinion the single best source 
of Jewish news and information that you could imagine. It's like 
a Kiplinger-type letter that-- Turn that thing off a minute. 
I'll go get a copy. Here, four pages [counts them] one, two, 
three, four. Two pages printed on each side so it's four pages of 
material. 

For instance, I brought home to review an item just a couple 
of days ago. An item having to do with anti-Semitism in the State 
Department of this country and in Washington generally. It was 
fascinating, something I thought I knew anyway, but it brought out 
much more than I really knew. It is something that is printed in 
that bulletin. You will never see it anywhere else. It never 
will show anywhere else. Just interesting items that appear, news 
items that we don't read in the public paper. I urge most of my 
friends to try and read these things because they are really good. 
Even just the Week in Review is a good paper to read, and it is 
again four pages of printed material capsulizing the most 
important issues that happened during the previous week. 

That sounds as if it's a digest, in addition to the actual 
articles that go to newspapers. 

Yes. I don't know exactly what they send to the newspapers. They 
send this and additional material, I'm sure. The newspapers, of 
course, use it as they see fit. A newspaper in one city may use 
it more than a newspaper in another city. It depends on what kind 
of a format they have and what their need for material is in a 
given week. But you will see it often quoted. 

Our local Federation supports this JTA fairly well. We do a 
pretty good job in supporting it. In fact, we're one of the 
better cities in the country that supports this JTA. So it gets 
to the public newspapers as well and that's important. They 
disseminate this material all over the world: in the English 
press, all over this country. They're in Israel, as I said. I 
think they are in South America. So they have done a very good 
job. It's fascinating. 



Mount Zion Hospital 



Glaser: I want to go back and ask you a little bit more in detail about 

Mount Zion Hospital. I have the date of 1970 that you were on the 
board. Were you on earlier than that? 



97 



Swig: I served a total of about twenty years. I think I was on there 

originally in the early fifties or mid- f if ties . I'm guessing. So 
I was there from let's say 1955 possibly, or 1956 maybe, until 
about 1976, or somewhere in that vicinity. 

Glaser: What was the period when you were the vice-president? 

Swig: Oh, I think I was vice-president a couple of different times. I 
don't recall. Probably towards the end. I'm guessing. 

Glaser: Who was the president when you were vice-president? 

Swig: I don't know. It could have been Rhoda Goldman. It probably was 
Rhoda. 

Glaser: Did you have any specific committee assignment? 
Swig: Yes. I was on some search committees. 
Glaser: For the executive director? 

Swig: For executive director at one time. For various heads of 

departments at other times. I was on building committees as I 
recall . 

Glaser: That must have been a period of a lot of construction. 

Swig: Yes, it was. I went through all the executive directors until the 
present one, Marty [Martin H.] Diamond. I don't think he had been 
here yet when I went off the board as I remember. Maybe he had 
just come in. 

Glaser: There was an Englishman who had served for a long time. I can't 
remember his name . 

Swig: That's the original guy who was here when I was just a young 

fellow. He passed away. My dear friend what' s -his -name . I told 
you I have a bad memory for names. Wonderful guy. He did a swell 
job in the community. He did a good job in the hospital. We had 
a wonderful staff. He really did well --Mark Berke . 

Of course, the whole operation of hospitals today is so 
drastically different from then. The HMOs and the government 
interventions and all this sort of thing that has happened- - 
hospitals have changed dramatically. 



98 



Glaser: 

Swig: 
Glaser: 
Swig: 
Glaser: 



Swig: 



Mrs. Rogers did a history of the hospital. 
book? 1 



Have you seen her 



Yes. Barbara is very nice. She did a very good job on that. 

You don't have a copy of that? 

I don't, I'm sure. I might have but I don't know. 

In the Federation board minutes of 1965, it's recorded that you 
and Frannie Green were upset at not being given prior consultation 
when Mount Zion decided to construct a seventh floor. Did the 
Federation have to be consulted, or did this involve extra 
funding? 

All capital programs of Jewish agencies who were recipients of 
funds from the Federations, we felt, should have consulted and 
worked with the Federation because they were going to ask us to 
help, as they did. And we participated in that fundraising 
program. I guess at that time, as I recall, they didn't consult 
very well with the Federation and should have. I guess I was on 
both boards . 



Jewish Family Service Agency 



Glaser: I want to get some more details about the Jewish Family Service 
Agency. What made you select that agency to be part of? 

Swig: I can't tell you. I don't know. I probably was asked. I think I 
liked the agency at the time. I still do. I think they do a fine 
job. I just don't know why that happened. Somebody must have 
asked me who was a friend or somebody I respected, I suppose. So 
I went on that board. 

Glaser: You worked up the chairs to become vice-president. 

Swig: I was vice-president there. 

Glaser: Did you have any specific assignment? 

Swig: I can't recall. Now you are really going back. When was that? 
That was in the early fifties, wasn't it? 



1 The First Century : Mount Zion Hospital and Medical Center, by Barbara 
S. Rogers and Stephen M. Dobbs , San Francisco, 1987. 



99 



Glaser: I think, 1956. Who was the executive at that point? 

Swig: The executive at that time was an older man who had been the dean. 
Then he was succeeded by another man who just passed away 
recently, Crystal. David Crystal became his successor, and it was 
with David that I really worked the most. The other fellow was a 
wonderful guy and was quite old when he retired. David came along 
and took his place and, I think, elevated the standards and so 
forth even higher than what the previous guy did. But that is not 
unusual --different time, different play. 

Glaser: Was there an expansion of services? 

Swig: Not terribly, no. They haven't really expanded greatly. It was 
like a young blood versus the old one. They come in and they 
innovate, do the newer things and the new techniques and so forth. 
They did a very fine job. David Crystal was in my opinion superb, 
an excellent guy. 

Glaser: Was there any cooperation with non- Jewish service agencies of that 
type? 

Swig: There was a relationship, and I think there was a mutuality of 

interest in doing community service, as I recall. I think there 
still is, to my knowledge. Incidentally, we did take non- Jewish 
people and did help non-Jewish people as well as Jewish people in 
the Jewish Family Service Agency. But it was predominantly 
Jewish. It was right across the street from Mount Zion, and it 
certainly was a Jewish-oriented operation. But there were a few 
non- Jewish people that were helped as well. 

Glaser: I didn't realize that. 
Swig: Yes. 



Federation Assignments 

Overseas Committee 



Glaser: There are some other Federation committees I want to ask you 
about. You were on the overseas committee in 1983; what was 
involved with your work on that? 

Swig: That was the committee that in effect changed the manner in which 
funds are delivered in Israel from the Federation. It was the 



100 



forerunner for a lot of drastic changes that occurred in the 
Jewish Agency. 

Brian Lurie, of course, was the initiator of that particular 
thinking. In Israel at a Jewish Agency meeting in, I guess, June 
of 1982, or maybe it was June of 1983 (I can't remember), he led 
the way and got a lot of flack for having had the nerve to even 
suggest that some changes ought to be made. Like all bureaucratic 
systems that had evolved over the period of years, it needed 
change. There was a great resistance at that time by the 
establishment, if you will, of the United States. There was 
tremendous resistance to this idea of change. I guess because 
people get in the habit of saying, "We've always done it this 
way." Sometimes it changes. 

As an example, the change in the need in Israel. We 
originally raised funds for rescue, relief, and rehabilitation. I 
can remember those words. I can't remember names but I can 
remember those words. The rescue, relief, and rehabilitation was 
now changing. People weren't coming in the huge numbers that had 
come to Israel in the fifties and the sixties. We had taken them 
in. There weren't that many left to bring in. So the needs in 
Israel were changing. Those things had to be addressed and looked 
at. What should we do now? What should our goals be for the 
future? Where were the funds to be directed? These are things 
that Brian was talking about. An inordinate amount of money was 
going to religious organizations in Israel, to the ultra -Orthodox 
and so forth, who were controlling schools, and still do 
incidentally, to the point that the public schools were not as 
good as government -supported schools over here. Controlling 
through religious organizations, which we felt (and I still do 
feel) is really unfair. Separation of church and state, if you 
will, which obviously in this country we feel very strongly about. 
They aren't doing it, weren't doing it. That needed change. 
Hasn't happened yet, but it will. 

So we are looking more carefully at where the funds are 
going, to whom they are being directed, and with whom we are doing 
business. Those were some of the issues that were coming up. The 
resistance was strong. We overcame the resistance to a 
substantial degree, we made and created changes in Israel. Now 
guess who is heading up the UJA today Brian Lurie. 



Swig: Over the objections of these very fine people, incidentally. The 
old expression, "We shall overcome." And we did. Changes were 
made and changes are still going to be made. 



101 



Glaser: So it was the overseas committee that brought all this about. It 
was more than just seeing what was being done in the UJA office? 

Swig: Well, it was a committee that was studying the proposals that 
Brian had indicated. Supporting that belief, our committee 
studied and worked on those things , and we came up in support of 
Brian and felt very strongly he was on the right track. I had 
some reasonable doubts about some of the things at the beginning 
myself. But as time wore on, I saw that he was right on target as 
far as I was concerned. We pushed and fought and won. 

We had a big meeting out here with some of the more 
prominent members of that society who were opposed to this. We 
got called some names for having the temerity to fight for 
something like this. But you know what? They came around to our 
way of thinking eventually. We had great support from LA and most 
of the western part of the United States at the beginning. Then 
it spread to the east and finally it happened. Today it is 
working and working better. 

I think with Brian in New York now at the UJA level there 
will be more refinement. That was a time when we in our 
Federation decided to give a relatively small amount of money to 
individual agencies in Israel that had not been supported by UJA 
or the Jewish Agency. We did that and are still doing it. 



Committee on Jewish Education 



Glaser: Also, in 1983, you were on a committee on Jewish education that 
studied the direction it should go in financing. I thought that 
was rather ironic since you're not really that much in favor of 
Jewish education. 

Swig: Broadly, I am not ii favor of parochial schools. As to Jewish 
education, I'm not opposed to Jewish education per se. 

Glaser: That's a good distinction. 

Swig: I have no objection to, and as a matter of fact support, the 

process of Jewish education. My emphasis, however, from my point 
of view believes that it should not be a day school -type of Jewish 
education. That's my philosophy, and most people don't agree with 
me, so I go along with the gang. But philosophically that's my 
approach. I think we live in a multi -ethnic , multi-racial and 
multi- religious society and that our kids should be exposed to 
that total society. I don't doubt that these day schools are an 



102 



escape from the public school system which is not adequate to meet 
their needs. The people feel threatened by the public schools, by 
busing, by one thing or another, and are not getting the full 
education value that they ought to be getting out of public 
schools. They have used our parochial schools, if you will, to 
avoid the public schools. They are in fact subsidized by the 
Federation to get their kids a better education than they would 
get in public schools. 1 guess that isn't all bad, because if we 
can better educate our kids I'm for it. 

However, I do not happen to like the idea of parochial 
schools. I didn't like it for Catholic people. I think they do 
wrong when they do that, but that's their business not mine. For 
the Jewish people, I think it's not altogether healthy. It's 
segregating ourselves. I think we've fought too hard and too long 
not to segregate ourselves to go back to segregation. I guess 
that's part of it. 



Chairman, Ad Hoc Committee on "Who Is A Jew 1 



Glaser: You were chairman of an ad hoc committee on "Who is a Jew." 

Swig: We didn't accomplish very much except that we were able to see 
that the Knesset did not pass that bill. 

Glaser: I know Annette Dobbs went to Jerusalem along with other members of 
the whole United States community to see about that. What did 
your committee do itself. 

Swig: As I recall, it was not a major committee because there wasn't too 
much we could-- We didn't have to influence anybody. It wasn't a 
hard sell. We were obviously committed strongly to seeing that 
Israel didn't make the unfortunate mistake of passing the bill 
that they were proposing about who was Jewish and who was not. 

We still haven't been altogether successful in changing the 
extreme political views that there are in Israel about the 
religion by relatively few people. It's like the tail wagging the 
dog. The Orthodox people over there do not allow Reform or 
Conservative rabbis to perform marriage. Probably do not 
recognize a bris . I suppose, by either of those officiating 
people. A mother converted to Judaism by a Reform or Conservative 
rabbi is not considered Jewish in Israel. The children of that 
mother are not considered Jewish in Israel. Even though they have 
been brought up Jewishly and so forth and so on, they are not 
considered Jewish. 



103 



rfow the devil can they tell us that these kids are not 
Jewish? They want to be Jewish, their mother was converted by a 
rabbi, they are brought up as Jewish. How in God's creation can 
they say they are not Jewish? It's ridiculous. Furthermore, how 
do they know all the millions of people who have come into Israel 
conform exactly to the standards that they have established? They 
can't. When they bring them in from Russia today, do they know 
who the mothers and fathers were in all cases? Of course not. 

Glaser: This also affects the Law of Return, doesn't it? 

Swig: It affects the Law of Return. If they want to come to Israel and 
be considered Jewish, they have to go through a ritual in Israel 
performed only by Orthodox rabbis. I'm sure if they had to they 
would. People would, and then they would tell them to go to hell 
afterwards. But I mean, that's ridiculous. It's a farce and it's 
part of the extremism of the Orthodox area of religion that I 
found very unhealthy and very narrow, very bigoted. I don't 
accept it and I try, and I will continue to try, to change it if I 
can. In my lifetime I doubt if it will change. 



American Friends of Haifa University 



Glaser: I want to ask you about some of the other Jewish organizations you 
have been involved in. I have got a list here- -I sound like 
Senator Joe McCarthy. [laughter] This is your list of 
organizations. It's so tremendous. I wanted to ask you why you 
chose to serve on these various organizations, the aim of the 
organization, and what was accomplished during your term of 
service. The first one is the American Friends of Haifa 
University. You were on the board of trustees. 

Swig: I was. I didn't do a lot for Haifa. We formed a chair at Haifa 
in my father's memory. It was going to be a hotel school. We 
tried to get Cornell to joint venture that with us and were 
unsuccessful. We therefore decided that it ought to be a business 
school rather than a hotel school, and that's what it is. I 
visited Haifa several times. I did not participate in their board 
meetings or was not terribly active. 



104 



American Jewish Committee 



Glaser 

Swig: 

Glaser: 

Swig: 



Glaser 
Swig: 



Glaser 

Swig: 
Glaser: 

Swig: 



Yes. 

What did that entail? 

Well, the American Jewish Committee is something that I worked on 
for a number of years. A matter of fact, it was John Steinhart's 
father who asked me first to get involved with it. It was fairly 
new in San Francisco at that time. I think the chapter was formed 
by Edgar Sinton, Jesse Steinhart, and some other people whose 
names escape me. 

I think Marcel Hirsch-- 

Marcel Hirsch. Those people started the chapter. Although it is 
one of the oldest defense agencies in the country, the chapter 
here did not begin until about 1948, * I think it was, something 
like that. About 1954 or so, Jesse asked me to get involved. 
John, I guess, was involved at that time and got working on it. 

I liked what they preached, so to speak, and I liked the 
things that they were doing it, appreciated the work that was 
being done by them. I enjoyed the people who were involved with 
it. There were some very fine people from all over the country 
who were involved. The contacts and meetings I had with those 
people were the most exhilarating. I enjoyed that work very, very 
much. 

That must have been the period when John Slawson was the executive 
director. 

John Slawson was, that's right. 

I was rather surprised that you were never a local chapter 
president but were on the national board. 

I was a chapter chairman. 



According to Edgar Sinton, the first chairman of the San Francisco 
Chapter, it was founded in 1945. Edgar Sinton, Jewish and Community 
Service in San Francisco, a Family Tradition. Regional Oral History Office, 
University of California, Berkeley, 1978, pp. 38-43, 137-145. 



105 



Glaser: You were? 

Swig: Yes. 

Glaser: That's not on your list. 

Swig: It may not be on the list but I was at a point in time. Some 
years ago. I can't tell you when but I was. 1 

Glaser: And your son Steven also. 

Swig: Steve. Now he's through; he's already served his term. There 

were three generations of my family involved with AJC because my 
father was a member of that too. He wasn't as active as we were 
but he was involved. 



State of Israel Bonds 



Glaser: When you were general chairman of the State of Israel bonds in 
1956, who was the executive? 

Swig: Lou Stein. 

Glaser: Way back then? 

Swig: Oh sure. He was from the beginning. 1951 he started, I think. 

Glaser: A long, long time then. I didn't realize you went back that far. 

Swig: That was the infamous year of the Suez Canal situation when 

England and France and Israel went after Egypt for taking over the 
Suez Canal from England. Egypt took it away from her. So France, 
England and Israel attacked Egypt to try and recover the canal. I 
think, if my memory serves me, it was in the fall of the year. At 
that time Eisenhower was president and a man by the name of John 
Foster Dulles was secretary of state. 

John Foster Dulles, who was a no -good, anti-Semitic S.O.B. 
said to these three countries, "You will refrain or we will have 
economic sanctions against you." This was 1956. The war [World 



^r. Swig was chairman of the local American Jewish Committee chapter 
from 1960-1962; chairman, western region, 1964-1968; honorary chairman, 
1969; national vice-president, 1967; on the national board of governors, 
1968-1971. 



106 



War II] was not that much over to where all those countries had 
recovered very well. Of course they backed away. Anthony Eden 
was Churchill's prime minister, and it cost him his job. 

At that time we were selling Israel bonds, and some of my 
dear Jewish friends .said that I was a traitor to my country to be 
selling Israel bonds at that particular time. I have never 
forgotten that. As you can see, I can forget names but I don't 
forget that. But there were people in this community who accused 
us of being traitors because we were selling bonds. Not too many, 
thank goodness, and we still sold bonds and continued, and we had 
a very good year in spite of it. But that was a very eventful 
year, obviously, and I remember it very well, as you can see. 

Glaser: After that year, how did the community take to the purchase of 
Israel bonds? 

Swig: We went onwards and upwards. Bonds continued to sell and 

increase. We did very well. Lou Stein was an inspiration in this 
community in terms of the work he did for it. In bonds he was 
terrific. 

Glaser: In 1986 the Swig and Dinner families were honored with a Golda 
Meir Leadership Award. 

Swig: What year was that? 1980? 
Glaser: 1986. 

Swig: They wanted to honor me as an individual, and I wouldn't do it. I 
don't allow myself to be honored. I've got a fetish about that. 
Because the whole family was involved in Israel bonds (my brother 
served as chairman, I think my sister-in-law served as chairman, 
and my father had been chairman, so it was a family deal), I said, 
"If you honor the whole family, then we'll do it." And we did. 
Moshe Arens, former Israeli ambassador to the United States and 
formerly Israel's defense minister, was the speaker. It was a 
very nice evening. 



United Jewish Appeal 



Glaser: Another Jewish organization was the United Jewish Appeal. In 
1973, you were on the executive committee, and then you were a 
regional head. 

Swig: Yes. 



107 



Glaser: What di'd that entail? 

Swig: At the time the western division of UJA was a much stronger 

organization, I think, than it is now, although they are trying to 
recover it. But at that time we had a lot of regional meetings. 
We had one major one, usually in Palm Springs, in February or 
January or something like that. We did a lot of good work in all 
the communities up and down the coast in bringing people in to 
support UJA, raise funds and do the job. 

Glaser: Being on the executive committee, did you have to go back to New 
York? 

Swig: The executive committee was back in New York. 
Glaser: How did you function on that committee? 

Swig: Not very well. I participated but I was not that active. Going 
back to New York, like they would want you to go back: they would 
call me and [snaps finger] in five minutes. We just couldn't do 
that from here. I had other obligations and other trips to New 
York that I would take, on business. To be going back and forth 
and then going to these meetings too was very difficult. So I 
wasn't that strong a participant. I worked on the coast; that is 
what I did. 

Glaser: Were you called upon to go to smaller communities to address them? 

Swig: I did. I made the trips. I remember going to Tulsa. I had been 
up to Seattle. I went to Portland. I was in LA. Where the devil 
else did I go? Denver. So I did make trips and I did go out to 
raise money. I did do that. But it is very difficult to go back 
and forth to executive committee meetings in New York. 



American Association of Ben Gurion University of the Desert 



Glaser: One of the Jewish organizations that you are active in now, as 

opposed to those in the past, is the American Association of Ben 
Gurion University of the Desert. You are on their board. If you 
couldn't go back to New York, I'm sure you don't go to their 
meetings very often. 

Swig: No, I don't. I help in this community. I was in a meeting for 
the Ben Gurion deal last week, I think. We had a nice meeting 
with a Dr. [Louis] Sullivan, a black man who was here and spoke to 



108 



a whole group of people. We must have had 300-350 people, 
something like that. 

Glaser: You mean the doctor who is the head of the Department of Health 
and Human Services? 

Swig: Yes. He was very good, spoke very well, a delightful man. 

Glaser: It's obviously a fundraising organization in support of the 
university. 

Swig: Oh yes. You bet. [Laughter] 

Glaser: I think by the way you are chuckling you mean, "Aren't they all. 

Swig: Yes. The answer is yes. [Laughter] 



Ant i- Defamation League of B'nai B'rith 



Glaser 
Swig: 

Glaser 
Swig: 



Glaser 

Swig: 

Glaser 

Swig: 

Glaser: 

Swig: 



Ant i- Defamation League of B'nai B'rith; you are on the regional 
board. 

Yes. I don't go to meetings. I help them wherever I can, give 
money, raise a few bucks. I don't anymore but I used to. I guess 
I'm just honorary now. 

Now, tell me, what is Atalanta Sosnoff? 

It is a company that invests money for stock, bonds, and so forth- 
-an investment banking company. It has a portfolio of customers 
and manages their investments. If you had a million dollars and 
you wanted to invest money and didn't know what to do, they advise 
you. They get a fee for doing that. 

Oh, this is not a philanthropic thing. 
Oh no, no. This is business. [Laughter] 
I got that from your list of organizations. 
Yes, but that's business. 
Oh, forgive me. [Laughter] 
That's okay. 



109 



American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee 



Glaser: You're on the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. 
Swig: I was. 

Glaser: You are on the executive committee and were reelected in 1987 to a 
third three -year term. But that sounds as if you have been on 
that for quite a while. 

Swig: I was. I'm not anymore. I was on it for a while, and I used to 
attend some meetings in New York on occasion. It's more honorary 
than active. It's not the executive committee part. Is that the 
one you are talking about? 

Glaser: Well, I show you as being on the executive committee. 

Swig: The Joint Distribution Committee? Yes, I was on it for a while 
but mostly I was on the board of directors. But I just couldn't 
attend the meetings for the same reason. 

Glaser: Did you help establish policy? 
Swig: They did. I didn't. 



Brandeis University 



Glaser: Now, tell me about Brandeis University. 

Swig: Brandeis University, I've been on that board for, I guess, 

forever. As a matter of fact, the new president of Brandeis will 
be here next week. I've met him. I am unable to go to too many 
board meetings now these days because I am on too many other 
boards that have a conflict of time schedule. I have told them 
they ought to take me off that board, and I am going to talk to 
them again about doing it. 

Brandeis is near to my heart. My father was one of the 
founding members of it. It is in the neighborhood, relatively 
speaking, where I was brought up. I remember it being an old 
broken down medical school, not a very good one. It was the first 
Jewish sponsored non- sectarian university in the country. It has 
developed into a perfectly marvelous educational institution. The 



110 



Glaser 
Swig: 



Glaser 

Swig: 

Glaser 
Swig: 
Glaser 
Swig: 



student body is not all Jewish. It's about 65 percent Jewish 
undergraduate and is about 30 some odd percent graduate. They 
have three chapels on campus. It's a Jewish sponsorship, of 
course, but nonetheless it is non- sectarian. 

They were appointed Phi Beta Kappa in the shortest time ever 
given to a university at that time. Their academic standards and 
their quality of education is among the highest in the country. 
It is not yet quite in the Ivy League standard but very damn 
close. So we're very proud of having accomplished something that 
has never been done in this country before. It's a wonderful 
school. 

Have you been honored by them? 

No, I don't think so. My father got an honorary degree from 
there, but I haven't been honored by them. Madeleine Russell 
serves on that board too. From out here, it's awfully hard to be 
as active in a university back there, as you can imagine with all 
the other things that have been going on 

I know there is a lot of money raised for Brandeis in this part of 
the country. Also, when I was living in the Middle West, women 
would have huge book sales to raise funds for Brandeis. 

The women are very active. They do a great job. My mother was 
one of the founders of the women's division out here. 

Oh, is that right? 

That book selling business that you are talking about. 

So the Swig family is very closely identified. 

Very strongly, and we've given a lot of money to Brandeis, raised 
a lot of money for Brandeis over the years. Still do. 




Melvin M. Swig, Dr. Abram L. Sachar, first president of Brandeis 
University, and Marvin G. Morris, circa 1972. 



Ill 



XV INVOLVEMENT IN NON-JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS 



University of San Francisco 



Glaser: I want to talk to you now about non- Jewish organizations that you 
are involved in. I imagine the first one would be the University 
of San Francisco when in 1979 your family endowed a chair in 
Judaic studies. That was the first at any Catholic university, 
and I think it was the first endowed chair that the University of 
San Francisco had. 

Swig: It was founded in 1855, I think, and this was 1979, so that was 
124 years later. It was the first endowed chair in the 
university. That was a year before my father died. We all 
worked, and I particularly worked very hard to get that done. 
How it started was that Rabbi David Davis, who is still out there, 
was a professor at the school in the theological department 
teaching courses on Judaism. One of the more favorite courses in 
that department, which was attended better than any of the other 
classes, I understand, was "Jesus the Jew." 

Rabbi Davis had, and still does, have a Lutheran minister (I 
have forgotten his name right now) who works with him in teaching 
that class, which is still one of the most popular classes that 
they have over there. He got me interested in working with Father 
Lo Schiavo, the president of the university, in developing a chair 
in Judaic studies. We did that. We got it going. I forget how 
much it was, probably $300 ,000-$400,000 that we raised, and that 
was an endowed chair. It wasn't fully -endowed, as most chairs 
are. A fully endowed chair would probably be around $700,000- 
$800,000 at that time. Today they are a $1.25 million- $1.5 
million. They have gone through the roof like everything else. 
But that was my first contact with USF and it was very attractive. 
I enjoyed it. 

Glaser: In 1985 you became chairman of the board of trustees. 



112 



Swig: I had gone on the board shortly after that because Lo Schiavo 

asked me to. I went on the president's council at one point and 
then I became a member of the board. I became chairman when? 
1985? 

Glaser: Yes. 

Swig: Yes. That's about right. 

Glaser: What was accomplished during your administration as chairman. 

Swig: A whole bunch, thank goodness, I'm happy to say. The endowment of 
the school when I went on that board was probably around $4 
million. By the end of this year or by the middle of next year, 
it will be over $50 million. During that same time, we paid off 
the debt of the university, which was at the time I went on maybe 
$4 or $5 million. We paid that off. We balanced the budget all 
the rest of the years, including paying off the debt. We also 
built the Koret Center, a $22-23 million dollar building, which is 
a health and recreation center, a marvelous addition to the 
university. 

We changed the format of the board at my suggestion from 
almost a fifty-fifty balance with Jesuits and lay people. Today 
we have the same number of Jesuits, which is thirteen I believe, 
and we have increased the lay people up to thirty- two people, I 
think it is. We improved the caliber of the board accordingly, 
and made it a much more attractive board to serve on. We brought 
a lot of good people in who could raise money and help run the 
institution better. We have done that, so it has been a very 
rewarding several years . 

Just recently Lo Schiavo retired and we hired a new 
president. We searched the country for a new president. I made 
sure that we got out of the politics, if you will, of the Catholic 
priests who like to pick their own people. We had a lay board and 
we had priests on the board. We selected a guy who is absolutely 
terrific. The result is that we have a new man in place who 
started June 1, I guess. We had the inauguration ceremonies last 
weekend. He is just a terrific guy. 

Glaser: What is his name? 

Swig: His name is Schlegel. 

Glaser: Were you on the search committee? 

Swig: Yes. I appointed the search committee and I served ex officio on 
it. I made sure we had the right kind of search committee that 



113 



was going to go out and get the right kind of guy. And we did. 
He will be a breath of fresh air for the whole university and the 
city. 

Glaser: Where did you find him? 

Swig: We found him in a little school in Cleveland, Ohio, called Carroll 
College. He is an educator, he is an administrator, and he is 
smart. We are very happy with him. 

Glaser: Then in 1987 there were two new programs you helped to establish: 
the Melvin M. Swig Graduate Program in Judaic Studies, the first 
in any Catholic university, and the Dee Swig Israel Scholarship 
Fund to aid Judaic studies program participants who want to study 
in Israel. 

Swig: Right. That was done, I guess, on my seventieth birthday. I 

wouldn't allow any honors; I told you I don't like that kind of 
nonsense. But what we did do is, I allowed them to establish this 
graduate program in my honor and my late wife's scholarship fund. 
So in concert between the two programs we get to send these 
students over to Israel. The students are educated. We have a 
program for a master's degree, and then some of those students are 
able to go to Israel to study. We've sent quite a few. 

Glaser: Do they study for a year? 



Swig: 



It's not a calendar year. It's a class year. 



Grace Cathedral 



Glaser: You've been very active in Grace Cathedral. 
Swig: Yes, I am. 

Glaser: You are a trustee and chairman of the development committee. 
According to Bishop [William E. ] Swing, whom I talked to-- 

Swig: Oh, really? 

Glaser: Yes. Rave reviews, Mr. Swig, rave reviews. 

Swig: You know what's interesting about it? I used to serve at one time 
on the board of Temple Emanu-El, and the problems of running a 



114 



Glaser 



Swig: 

Glaser 

Swig: 

Glaser: 

Swig: 

Glaser: 

Swig: 



Glaser 



Swig: 



temple and running a church are no different. This is an 
Episcop'al church, very nice people having the same kinds of 
things. They have to raise money to keep the payment to their 
rabbis and/or priests (or whatever they are) taken care of, and to 
upgrade the quality of the plant, and do all the same kinds of 
things. That's what they are about. I was head of development 
committee and I raised a lot of money for them- -from among their 
people, not our people. I gave, of course, of myself, but from 
the congregants and the community, we raised quite a few bucks and 
did a good job on it. 

Bishop Swing told that. Incidentally, he said that when people 
get confused about his name, he tells them that you put them to 
sleep down the hill and he puts them to sleep up the hill, 
[laughter] 

That's right. And people do confuse our names once in a while: 
Swig and Swing. 

He said that you were the driving force in getting community 
support for the cathedral as well as the congregational support. 

Well, I did do that. We went outside the congregation and we did 
get some community support. It's not broad but it was more than 
they had before. 

He said that you pushed them to become solvent. 
We did balance the budget pretty well, yes. 

Are you involved in the capital campaign now to improve the 
cathedral? 

I am somewhat involved but not majorly because my term of office 
is up very soon, I think. So I am not enrolled in that terribly. 
I will be involved financially but not a* a fundraiser. My wife 
is somewhat involved in that. Steve Giliey of our company here, 
whose wife happens to be the president of the congregation now, is 
very involved, obviously, and he has worked very hard to put all 
this plan together for the new development. They do it here in 
this office, and I have been a little bit involved on the 
periphery. 



You were the person who suggested the golf tournament, 
fundraiser? 



Was that a 



It sure is. Yes, we raise about $20,000 a year on that golf 
tournament. It is still going on. 



115 



Glaser: I know you were unhappy with the resolution that was adopted at 

the 1991 General Convention of the Episcopal Church that urged the 
United States to withhold funds from Israel equal to the amount 
Israel spends on Jewish settlements in the territories and East 
Jerusalem. What was the outcome of your discussion with Bishop 
Swing? 

Swig: I had heard, frankly through the American Jewish Committee, that 
they were going to present in Phoenix a very damaging set of 
expressions against Israel. The bishop of Jerusalem is a man by 
the name of Kafiti or something like that, who happens to be a 
Christian but happens to be also a Palestinian. He is responsible 
for Syria, Jordan, I think Iraq and Israel, and maybe other 
countries I'm not sure of. He's a Palestinian, he's an Arab, and 
his whole identification comes from the Arab countries. He runs a 
large church in Jerusalem. He is generally responsible for the 
Palestinian line, which is obviously anti- Israel. 

I got a hold of the material that they were sending out and 
I was very upset about it. So I had lunch with Bill Swing and we 
talked about it. I gave him a lot of facts and information about 
some of the things they were presenting and told him how wrong 
their history was, that they hadn't done their homework. Because 
I know it like the back of my hand, and I know that he doesn't 
know it like the back of his hand although he has been to Israel 
two or three times. A matter of fact, I sent him to Israel the 
first time with Father Lo Schiavo of USF and Rabbi Davis. The 
reason I didn't go was because my wife was then quite ill and I 
couldn't go, and I sent Davis in my place because I wanted them to 
have a Jewish escort. The three of them got along famously and 
did very well . 

But Bill has been somewhat influenced by this Kafiti fellow, 
who, incidentally, came here a couple of years ago and was here on 
the pretense of raising money for his hospital in Ramallah, I 
think it was, to help Arab people. Nothing wrong with that. The 
only problem was that he spoke around here and gave out the 
Intifada line and the pro-Palestinian line against Israel, 
knocking Israel. That upset me quite a little bit and I had a to- 
do with him [Bishop Swing] about that. Not that Bill and I ever 
had a to-do because we are too friendly for that, but at least we 
had a dialogue about what was going on and how I felt that that 
was very unlike the church to do. 

Then I reflected back on the fact that during Israel's War 
of Independence in 1948, the English weren't the best damn people 
to the Jewish people at that time. They supported, in effect, the 
Arabs and were very harmful to the Jewish people. But thank 
goodness the Israelis overcame and they existed. So there has 



Glaser : 

Swig: 

Glaser: 

Swig: 



116 



been a bit of problem throughout the years with England generally. 
Obvipusly, the Anglican Church is the Episcopal Church. There has 
been a bit of a problem there, and I felt that they weren't 
handling themselves too well. So I discussed all that with Bill. 



It just happens I brought [a document] 1 from my house by the 
way, and I didn't know this was going to be covered today. There 
was a member of this bishop's committee by the name of John Burt 
whose remarks I could have written, they are that pro -Israel, 
where he told all the facts of what caused some of the problems in 
Israel and how the Jewish state certainly was not the responsible 
party in the things that they were discussing. 

[Quotes from document] "We need to be aware that Israelis 
and Jews generally are rightly offended when we Christians seem 
not to understand that the underlying issue for the Jewish state, 
whether it be for the West Bank or Gaza, is the reality that 
twenty Arab nations are still in a declared state of war with 
her." This was his speech at that meeting. "For Israel, it is 
difficult to respond effectively to the changes we urge in the 
occupied territories until those Arab nations make peace." Now he 
is telling all the people about that. "The very secure borders we 
say we favor for Israel is simply not possible until peace is 
negotiated, at least with Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon. How 
can Israel, for instance, possibly vacate or demilitarize the West 
Bank until she is guaranteed security by those Arab powers." You 
and I could have made the same statement. 

He says that Baker understands it and so does Bush. I don't 
think they do. Anyway, the result is that while the statement was 
not perfect that the bishops came up with, it was watered down 
tremendously over what the initial statements were to have said. 
This man helped and Swing helped. So an effective thing occurred 
as a result of the relationship that I had with Bishop Swing, who, 
incidentally, is a wonderful guy. I think very highly of him. 

He thinks very highly of you. 
Well, we're good friends. 

I have a long list of non-Jewish organizations you have been 
involved in in the past and now. 

There is one that you haven't asked me about that I still do and 
that is Brown University. 



Glaser: Yes. 



] See Appendix 



117 

Swig: That's one of my favorites. 

Glaser: That's under the heading of "Now." 

Swig: Okay. "Now." All right. 

Glaser: Shall we do the ones in the past? 

Swig: Whatever you want. 



President. California Association for American Conservatory 
Theatre 



Glaser: You tell me what you were doing with these organizations. The 
first one is the California Association for A.C.T. You were 
president and were on the board of directors. 

Swig: Yes. That was one of the more interesting things that I was 

involved with. I was on the board of the Chamber of Commerce at 
the time. I had run the film festival for the chamber in 1965. I 
didn't know a damn thing about a film festival, but they assured 
me they had put together a whole body of people for me to help me. 
They did. I ran the film festival and it was very successful. It 
was run for the Chamber. 

So along came a thing called A.C.T. Cyril Magnin was 
president of the Chamber at the time. He and I were good friends, 
had been for a long time. A.C.T. was performing at Stanford 
University, and it was thought that it might be a wonderful idea 
to bring a company like A.C.T. to San Francisco. We had no 
theater of that type here. We had the traveling road shows but we 
had no repertory theater. 

So we took a bus and went down to see the show that was 
performing at Stanford by these people. A fellow named William 
Ball was the head of it. We all liked it very, very much. 

Glaser: It was headquartered at that time in Philadelphia, or was it in 
Pittsburgh? 

Swig: I think they were in Pittsburgh at that time. But they weren't 
headquartered anywhere really. Ball was from Pennsylvania and 
they were kind of looking for a home. So we set about to try and 
create that home. Thanks to Cyril, Mortimer Fleishacker, and 
we did the first initial funding out of our own pockets to cause 
A.C.T. to come here. We negotiated with Ball, who was most 



118 



Glaser 
Swig: 
Glaser: 
Swig: 



difficult to deal withhe was the whole time he was here. We 
kicked it off and got it going and here we are all these years 
later. That was about 1967 I guess, something like that. They 
are still here. As a matter of fact, I think they are now about 
to celebrate their twenty- fifth year. 

So Cyril, Morty, and I did all the work. No, Morty became 
the first president, then I became president, and then Cyril 
became president. I'm not sure of the order; it doesn't matter. 
I was the new kid on the block at that time compared to them. But 
they were so supportive and so helpful, and I was charged, as I 
say, with doing this thing. Morty came in a little later on. But 
it worked very well and became very successful. 

It's still here and doing quite well. They had that 
terrible earthquake problem a couple of years ago that knocked out 
the theater. 

Yes. It still isn't being used, is it? 

No, but I think they are about to raise a whole bunch of money. 

That was the Geary. The Curran is all right, isn't it? 

The Curran is fine but the Geary got knocked out. It has to be 
rebuilt. Anyway that was a very exciting experience and very 
rewarding to have been able to bring an organization like that to 
San Francisco. 



Civic League of Improvement Clubs and Associations of San 
Francisco 



Glaser: The Civic League of Improvement Clubs and Associations of San 
Francisco. What is that all about? 

Swig: Political Organization. It was formed initially by Mayor Elmer 

Robinson and a whole bunch of political people, non- denominational 
(they were Republicans and Democrats) . They sent out a mailer to 
the community in support of candidates who, in the judgment of 
these people, were the best candidates to run for office for the 
city of San Francisco. Supervisors, mayors, propositions on the 
ballot, all those kinds of things they dealt with. It was a 
highly political situation and very powerful. 

Glaser: It sounds as if this was a non-partisan organization. 



119 



Swig: It was non-partisan. It got to be a little partisan from time to 
time, but everybody would make an eloquent speech about their own 
personal beliefs and strengths and there was a vote taken. It was 
very democratically done, and the majority won. They were pretty 
much on target. 

Glaser: Sounds interesting. 

Swig: I'll give you a funny story. I'll tell you a story which I think 
is interesting. A young lady by the name of Dianne Feinstein had 
her first run at the board of supervisors. I happened to be her 
finance chairman. I had known her since she was that big and her 
folks were friends of mine. She asked me to be her finance 
chairman and I did. Elmer Robinson, the former mayor and the head 
of this organization, and my father, who was very active in it, 
said to me, "You've got to get that girl out of the race. She's 
only going to muddy the waters." I said, "I'm sorry, gentlemen, 
she ain't getting out of the race. I hope you are going to 
support her before this is over." "No way. Got to get her out of 
the race." "Sorry, ain't going to happen." 

As time went on they supported her. She won the board of 
supervisors race and became president of the board of supervisors. 
She got more votes than anybody else and ran a terrific race. Of 
course they became friendly thereafter. 

Glaser: Was that a prejudice against women in general in politics? 

Swig: No, I don't think it was that so much. There were women on the 
board of supervisors over the years. I don't think it was that. 
They just wanted to narrow the gap to some of their own people, I 
guess . 



Commonwealth Club of California 



Glaser: Commonwealth Club of California. Was this just a membership, or 
were you active? 

Swig: No. I was on the board and I was on the executive committee, and 
I worked at it. Helped wherever I could in fundraising and other 
judgmental things that needed to be done before the board. 

Glaser: What do you mean by that? Would you expand? 

Swig: I mean whatever the problems were of running an organization I was 
involved with. I cast my votes, made my judgments. An example: 



120 



they were talking about building a new building or buying a 
building, and doing this and doing that. Obviously I became 
involved in that. Just the general operations. I was always 
there, and I had served fairly well until recently. I had to 
resign because I just couldn't do the work anymore. I just 
couldn't handle all the things I was doing. 



Crescent Porter Hale Foundation 



Glaser: Crescent Porter Hale Foundation. Did Mr. Treguboff get you 
involved in that? 

Swig: Not at all. It's a Catholic institution. 

Glaser: I know that Florette Pomeroy before did she died-- 

Swig: I hired Florette. 

Glaser: Oh, is that right? When I did Mr. Treguboff 's oral history 1 the 
foundation had its name on the doorway and Florette was managing 
the foundation. 

Swig: She was. She was a wonderful lady, marvelous lady. That 

organization was started by two people by the name of Hale in 
Oakland. They lived in Piedmont. A friend of mine, Ed Keil, was 
a lawyer here in town with whom I had worked, not as a legal 
adviser but just in civic affairs. He said, "Mel, I need you to 
serve on this board. It's a small foundation and I would 
appreciate it if you could help us out. We need some people who 
know a little bit about fund giving." I liked the guy very much. 
He has passed away. He was a lovely man who lived in Woodside, I 
think. Anyway, he asked me to serve on it. I went over there, 
golly, I don't know how many years ago, a long time ago. I served 
on their board for quite some time. All of these older people who 
were on there finally left, and I became the president because I 
was about the only one left who knew anything about it. 

Then the lady who had given this money, Mrs. Hale, passed 
away at age 101 . She was out of it for years , and she was always 
in bed and always with nurses and everything. When I first knew 
her she was reasonably with it and was a nice person but couldn't 



*Sanford M. Treguboff, Administration of Jewish Philanthropy in San 
Francisco, Regional Oral History Office, University of California, 
Berkeley, 1988. 



121 



navigate. So I finally became the president of this thing. We 
gave away very little money, and when she died all the additional 
money from her estate came to this foundation. They had one 
child, the Hales did, but he had passed away so there was nobody 
else to leave the money to. They were Catholic and we 
predominantly gave money to Catholic institutions, although we did 
civic things as well. 

I stayed as president. I must have been there for I don't 
know how long, fifteen or twenty years I suppose. Finally I went 
on the Koret board, and I got so many other things to do I just 
couldn't continue on it. But I did hire Florette Pomeroy at a 
point in time and she handled it. That's when the new money came 
in, and we needed to be a lot more careful of where we were going 
and what we were doing. She did a superb job. She was wonderful. 

Then I had the fortunate experience of introducing her to 
Ulla Davis, Rabbi Davis' wife. Ulla was looking for a change in 
her business career. She wanted to get into this kind of field. 
I introduced her to Florette and the two of them just fell in love 
with each other. Florette needed an assistant. Ulla was it. 
Florette was in partnership with Treguboff and Treg, of course, at 
that time was not as active as he had been. He wasn't as well as 
he could have been. So she needed additional help. Ulla stepped 
in and did the work. 

Then, unfortunately, Florette died and Ulla became the head 
of the foundation. She ran it and she's done a marvelous job ever 
since. But she learned from Florette. Florette was her teacher. 



Chairman. Easter Seal Campaign. 1963 



Glaser: The next one I want to talk to you about is the Easter Seal 
Campaign. In 1963 you were the chairman. 

Swig: Yes, for one year. It was a fundraising job just for the year 
Glaser: You didn't continue with it? 

Swig: No, I didn't continue with it. I remember we had that blond 
comedienne, Phyllis Diller. She helped us raise money, I 
remember, that year and I was very impressed with her. 



National Conference of Christians and Jews 



Glaser: National Conference of Christians and Jews. You were on the board 
of directors for a long time I think. 

Swig: Quite a few years. Yes. I still help. 
Glaser: Oh, you're still on it. 

Swig: No. I'm not on the board. I still help them. It's a fundraising 
deal. They are a social service type organization. How it got to 
be named, "Conference of Christians and Jews," I don't know. The 
Christians and Jews got together in order to do some work in the 
community in a social service manner. The presentation was very 
good. The brotherhood type of thing occurred. They performed 
pretty well. They are not as strong as they ought to be. They 
need help. But it was fun working on it. We did a pretty good 
job. 



Foreman. San Francisco City and County Grand Jury. 1969 



Glaser 



Swig: 



San Francisco City and County Grand Jury foreman in 1969. 
were your functions? 



What 



In those days particularly, it's changed a little now, the grand 
jury was selected by presiding judges. All the judges put in 
names and there is a presiding judge. The judge that year was a 
Judge O'Day. He was more of a friend of my dad's than he was 
mine. He was much older than I was. A lovely man, Ed O'Day. My 
name was submitted by him and then one is selected by lot. All 
the names are thrown into a jar, and they are picked out, and 
that's how you get to go on the grand jury. 

Finally, nineteen out of 100, or God knows how many, names 
are selected by lot. The presiding judge was Ed O'Day and I 
happened to be his selection, so I became foreman of the grand 
jury. That is a one-year job, a tough job. It requires being 
there Monday night, starting from seven until twelve, one, two 
o'clock in the morning, hearing various criminal cases that are 
presented by the district attorney's office. It requires study of 
all the city departments and making judgments as to their 
capabilities, where there were strengths, where there were 
weaknesses, suggestions and ideas. It requires a lot of committee 
work during the year to come to these conclusions. You have got 
nineteen people to deal with who are from all walks of life, and 




Melvin M. Swig, Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, and Professor William Haber, 1980. 



123 



you have to come to a common denominator, an essay if you will, at 
the end to discuss all the things that you have done all year. 

As to the government operation, in addition to hearing all 
these cases, which you do every Monday night, on Thursday you 
return the indictments . If you are down at City Hall around 
eleven o'clock, you're out of there by twelve fifteen. You return 
the indictments and the cases either go to trial or not, as the 
case may be. But you have to sit as judge and jury in deciding 
whether or not there should be an indictment returned against an 
individual. It isn't a trial but you hear evidence only presented 
by the district attorney, not by the defendant. So it's kind of 
an interesting job. 

Glaser: How do these criminal cases differ from those that go to an 
ordinary court? 

Swig: These eventually go to an ordinary court. The question is whether 
these cases should be tried or not. That's what we determine. We 
don't determine guilt. We determine only if the case should be 
tried or not. Like we had a murder case once, a husband killing a 
woman, a woman killing her husband, I forget which way it went. 
We threw it out. It was certainly a case of self-defense in our 
opinion. We said it should not be tried. 

It's interesting. Even in those days, 1969, we were hearing 
a lot of drug cases back then. The first I ever saw marijuana, it 
was right in front of me on my desk. The foreman brought the 
stuff up, and I showed it to the jury. "This is marijuana. This 
is cocaine." I had never seen the stuff before and there it was. 

Those kinds of cases, robbery, and breaking and entering 
types of cases. Friends of mine over on Washington Street who 
lived next to my brother, their house was ransacked. Their maid 
was tied up, they were tied up, and the house was robbed. They 
came in and they were witnesses, and I was cross-examining them 
and so forth. It was fun; it was interesting. 

Incidentally, our grand jury, who were nineteen (now I think 
there are ten or eleven left of us), we meet twice a year every 
year. I think we are the only grand jury to my knowledge that 
does that. 

Glaser: As a social event? 

Swig: As a social thing. Twenty- two years later we still meet. 

Glaser: That's interesting. So you became very close then. 



124 



Swig: We all stayed together and we're still friends 



Vice-President . San Francisco Chamber of Commerce 



Glaser: When you were vice-president of the San Francisco Chamber of 
Commerce, what was going on and what were your functions? 

Swig: My functions for that were city planning. We did a lot of good 
things for the city and could have done more had we not met some 
opposition. One of the things we did was to run the one-way 
streets: Geary, Ellis, Eddy, Post Streets. 

Glaser: Pine? 

Swig: Pine and Bush already were one-way. We made all those one-way 

streets so they could increase the traffic flow through the city. 

if 

Swig: We created the first truck-only loading zones in the city. We 

then created bus lanes of traffic, I remember, on Geary Street, on 
Sacramento Street, on Post Street. We made a bus -only zone at 
certain hours of the day for buses to have exclusive use of those 
zones to move the buses through the city in a better way. Those 
were some of the things that we were responsible for. 

We had a wonderful plan that was going to connect up- -you' 11 
be happy to hear this --that stub of a road that comes in on 
Highway 280 extension. We had a plan to come around through the 
city, tear down the Embarcadero Freeway, submerge it (very similar 
to what the mayor has proposed now) , and then connect up 
eventually by going out Bay Street and then out into the Bay, 
underneath the Bay, outside of the St. Francis Yacht Club, coming 
up to the Golden Gate Bridge and meeting the Golden Gate Bridge. 
This would have circumvented the entire city with all that traffic 
around the city. 

Glaser: Interesting. 

Swig: It was a marvelous plan. The only reason we would have been able 
to do it was that the state at that time, if we created bus -only 
lanes as a part of this, would give us $200 million dollars. That 
was a lot of money in those days . There was also federal money 
involved that would have helped this thing too at that time. We 
had a public hearings on it. Gosh, we did all kinds of wonderful 
things. At that time BART was finishing up on Market Street. I 



125 



Glaser : 
Swig: 

Glaser: 

Swig: 

Glaser: 
Swig: 



don't know whether you recall how much devastation there was to 
the city doing that: the upsetting of traffic, and retailers 
having trouble, and all the people along Market Street complaining 
about the terrible upset that they were in. But that's the only 
way the thing could have been built. 

Well, all the people out at Fisherman's Wharf and in the 
Marina District remembered this BART thing. They opposed this 
thing like you can't believe. I guess I can't blame them really 
because I knew it would have been upsetting. But that would have 
been such a wonderful plan for the city that it would have been 
well worthwhile to have done it. It was a once only chance 
because all this money was available to do it. Otherwise it 
couldn't have been done. 

So we worked and we worked and we fought and we fought, and 
we met with the police departments and the traffic departments and 
God only knows what. We went to Sacramento to meet with Reagan's 
people (he was governor at the time) , trying to get him to get 
this money and get the approval from the state, from the U.S. 
Army, from everybody else we had to get approval from. And we 
did, we had it through except for the opposition within the city. 
That was one of the more exciting plans that I think we did that 
year. 

The other that I told you about we accomplished. We did 
that and it was successful. Still is, even to the zones of 
pedestrian-only traffic, some of the downtown streets along 
Montgomery Street. 

Did you have anything to do with height limitation on new 
buildings? 

No. We didn't. That was not something that came up at that time. 
We had our hands full doing what we did. It was fun though. It 
was interesting. 

All you have to do is go down Lombard Street at commute time and 
you will know how much that was needed. 

Oh yes, and still is. All the accidents that happen on the 
approach to the Golden Gate Bridge. 

That's right. 

We would have eliminated that. 



126 



San Francisco Citv Parking Corporation 



Glaser: San Francisco City Parking Corporation. You were president of the 
board of directors. Did that consider building new underground 
garages? 

Swig: Yes. The city in its infinite wisdom decided they didn't like 

garages in downtown. The reason they didn't like garages was they 
wanted people not to bring their cars downtown. What they didn't 
know, however, was that people were going to bring their cars 
downtown anyway. So we got together. Cyril Magnin was involved 
with me too, and that's where I first met this lawyer on the 
Crescent Porter Hale Foundation, Ed Keil. 

So we put together a non-profit garage. We had to go 
through the parking authority to get this done. We were going to 
increase the tolls on parking meters from 5C to IOC, which would 
have raised $5- $6 -$700, 000 a year. With that, through bonds, we 
could build some short-term parking garages downtown to get the 
traffic off the streets and move the traffic through the streets 
in a better way. That was our whole purpose. 

Now I have to recall back why the damn thing never went 
through. There was opposition to it. We had it all set up; we 
had the parking authority done. I guess we just never were able 
to sell it to the board of supervisors properly, and they turned 
it down. They just didn't want garages downtown. They put such 
restrictions on them, made it so difficult, it never happened. 
They passed the increase of the meters. [Laughter] That went 
into the city budget. It never went to what we wanted to do. 

Glaser: Where would you have put these garages? 

Swig: Wherever we could find land and build them. We were going to 
build one down near the waterfront, where it would have been 
tremendous for today's purposes. We had one over here at the end 
of Sansome Street, near Sansome Street somewhere. Those were two 
sites I remember we looked at. Wherever we could have fit, 
wherever we could have afforded to buy land and build a garage. 

Glaser: This was more on the periphery? 
Swig: More on the periphery. 




o 
c\ 
a\ 



127 



Commissioner. San Francisco Housine Authoritv. 1962-1965 



Glaser: Now this is an interesting one: San Francisco Housing Authority. 
You were a commissioner. 

Swig: Yes. 

Glaser: That must have called for a lot of time on your part. 

Swig: It did. I was young then though. That was about 1962 or 1963, I 
believe. Something like that, in that vicinity. I was appointed 
by George Christopher. I was playing golf one day out at Lake 
Merced on a Friday afternoon. I got a call on the telephone and 
was told, "Please call the mayor immediately." I called him. He 
said, "Mel, can you come right down to see me?" I said, "Yes, but 
I'm on the golf course." He said, "I want to talk to you about a 
commission. I need to discuss it with you." 

So I got dressed and went down to see him. He said, "I want 
you to serve on the housing authority. A couple of your friends 
have recommended you very strongly, and I think it would be a good 
idea." "Tell me what it's all about." He explained it and I 
said, "Well, that sounds interesting. Okay, I'll do it." I was a 
fairly young kid at that time and it seemed like a good thing to 
do . It was . 

So I served on there for about two or three years , I guess . 
It was somebody's unexpired term as I recall. Then Shelley came 
in. The interesting thing was that Christopher I had not 
supported when he ran for governor, but I was a friend. He wasn't 
really anybody that I had supported very strongly. Shelley came 
in, whom I had supported for a reason that I'll mention in a 
minute. He didn't reappoint me and I'll tell you why. On that 
board were some people, one of whom is a black fellow whom I still 
correspond with: Sol Johnson. He lives in Hawaii. Another fellow 
was a Chinese fellow, Dr. T.K. Lee, a lovely man. Another one was 
Joe Mazzola, the head of the plumber's union. Another guy was a 
good friend of George Christopher's, and I can't quite remember 
his name. And myself. There were five of us. 

All the meetings are open to the public. There were problems 
in the housing authority. I went to meetings in Denver and I went 
to Washington. I was learning all about housing and what you do 
and how you do it. I think I was a pretty good director. We 
decided that we needed some social -worker type to handle our 
community relations with the tenants. In a private meeting (about 
personnel, you can hold private meetings. The Brown Act says you 
can't hold private meetings except about personnel.) The rest of 



128 



us go into this private meeting with Mazzola and decide to hire 
this lovely black lady. She was a doll. He was raising hell 
about it because she was black and all kinds of racial things, and 
it was just a total disgrace. But we outvoted him three to two. 

We came out to the public meeting later on to do this, and 
Mazzola talked totally different from what he had talked in the 
meeting. I was turned off terribly. He was eloquent in praising 
that she was black, all the opposite things to what he had said 
just a half hour before. Well, that turned me off pretty good. 
He was that kind of a man. He wasn't doing the housing authority 
the best job in my opinion. Not only that, but some other things. 

But this guy Johnson, the black fellow, and I (and he was a 
lawyer incidentally, a very nice guy) , and we had one other vote 
we could always count on, I think it was the Chinese fellow, Dr. 
T.K. Lee, and on occasion we would get the fourth. But Mazzola 
was always the guy who was causing the trouble. 

Anyway, it was an interesting couple of three years that I 
put in there. When Shelley called me up one day he said, "What do 
you think about reappointment?" I said, "Well, I'll tell you 
Jack, I won't take it if you keep Mazzola as president. You've 
got to put on somebody else as president of that board. It just 
isn't going to work well if he is president as far as I'm 
concerned." So guess who they kicked off. I was. Mazzola had 
the juice, if you will, the political clout, to keep himself on 
and I went off. But it was an interesting two or three years. 
I'm glad I served on it; it was good experience. 

Glaser: During your term of office, was public housing constructed? 

Swig: Oh yes. We built the housing for seniors over on Sacramento 

Street near Presbyterian Hospital. You know that apartment house 
on Sacramento? Well, you may not know it. You live on the other 
side of the bay, don't you? 

Glaser: There is a Jewish complex, Menorah Park, but you don't mean that. 

Swig: No, not Jewish. It's public housing for seniors. Still is. And 
we built other buildings around the city. We had a police 
department of our own. We tried to take care of the apartments as 
best we could, do them right. They had some real problems, as you 
can imagine. There were a lot of drugs starting out in that area 
at that time. There was vandalism and all the usual things that 
you have in a low income kind of environment. But we did a pretty 
good job by and large, and we took care of a lot of people who 
needed a lot of help. 



129 



Glaser 

Swig: 

Glaser: 

Swig: 

Glaser: 

Swig: 



Glaser 
Swig: 



It seems to me that public housing has fallen into disrepute. 
And disrepair. 

Wasn't it some years ago in St. Louis that they actually tore down 
some public housing? 

I visited that in St. Louis. I was there. 

I think in Chicago they have found that it is-- 

What happens is that you try to help people but it gets to be a 
way of life, and not a very healthy way of life for people. 
You're clustering a whole bunch of people in a bad environment, 
really, because drugs and robbery and other things occur and have 
occurred, which has deteriorated the whole living environment. 
People live in fear in those housing developments. 

Especially the high rises. 

Especially the high rises. The theory today is that people ought 
to try to find a way to buy them, then they take care of them. So 
there is a move afoot to try and work along those lines. So they 
have deteriorated over the years, but at that time it wasn't that 
bad. I said we had a police department and we ran them pretty 
well. There is always going to be vandalism. There was 
vandalism. There was the beginnings of these things that later on 
occurred. They were beginning to happen. There were some serious 
problems in running them. It was very difficult, but it was, in 
our opinion, quite worthwhile. 



Chairman. San Francisco International Film Festival. 1965 
[Interview 5: November 21, 1991 ]//// 



Glaser: We were talking last time about your involvement with non- Jewish 

organizations in the past. I would like to pick up with some more 
of those. You were the chairman of the San Francisco 
International Film Festival in 1965. How did that come about? 

Swig: I was on the board of the chamber of commerce and a man by the 

name of Bill Bird was president at that time. He wanted someone 
to run this film festival and he said, "You're it." I said, "I 
don't know anything about films. I don't even go to the movies at 
all." He said, "You're it. I'll put together the staff, you'll 
have all the support in the world, and we want you to take that 



130 



on." Bill was a good friend and I found it hard to say no so I 
did it. I learned a lot about film festivals. 

Glaser: What was involved in being chairman? 

Swig: Everything. We had to start from scratch out here. There was a 
film festival that had run here before and it had been moderately 
successful but not completely so. A fellow named Levin was the 
guy who ran it. 

Glaser: Was that Mel Levin who had movie houses? 

Swig: He had movie houses. Not Mel, Bud. Anyway, he was having 

financial difficulty running the festival. Somebody asked the 
chamber to take it on and the chamber agreed to do that. They 
needed people to run it, so they gave me a great staff of people. 

We went to Cannes to the film festival and there a man from 
MGM whose name I've forgotten, a wonderful guy, helped me 
tremendously. He helped me and the others, but I personally met 
with him a few times before we got the others involved. He was 
just tremendously helpful in guiding us how to do what and why and 
when. 

We did it. We had people on our board who were just 
terrific, particularly Barnaby Conrad II, Shirley Temple Black, 
Dave Sacks who was in at Channel 5, I guess. I'm trying to think 
of some of the others who were on there. Claude Jarman, a good 
friend. He won an academy award as a child star. Stanley Mosk, 
who is now a judge, Patty Costello, Marianne Goldman. A fellow 
named Albert Johnson, a professor at the University of California 
who was a walking encyclopedia of film. Those last four I 
mentioned plus a man by the name of Bill Boyd who was on the staff 
of the chamber at that time went to the Cannes festival together 
and just did a great job. We put that whole package together, and 
lo and behold we turned out a film festival at the Masonic Temple 
that was really a star here in the city. 

Glaser: How did you select the films that were shown? 

Swig: We went to Cannes. Part of our rules, as I recall, was that they 
must be foreign films, no domestic films. I take that back. That 
isn't quite true. They had to be shown at the film festival, not 
introduced in this country prior to the time of our showing the 
film, including domestic. They could not have been shown in this 
country before the festival. It was truly an international film 
festival with international film festival rules. 




Melvin M. Swig and Danny Kays at Cannes Film Festival, 1968. 



131 



Glaser 
Swig: 



We went to Cannes, as I said, and we learned a great deal 
from this man who was just terrific to us. With all the knowledge 
of the other people who were on our board and on our committee , we 
gained a great deal of insight and knowledge. We had very good 
people who helped us in the promotion of it and the work and the 
detail of the local community involvement in the film festival. 
It wasn't just that we wanted to show it for international flavor 
but we wanted the community to be involved. We had parties for 
every socialite in town all over the place, you know, and 
different events going on at different times. We had 
retrospectives of old movie stars and introduced them here in 
afternoon sessions which, incidentally, were very successful. We 
had over the years some of the top names in the business. 

It was really an exciting gathering and an exciting event 
for San Francisco. It ran for about ten days, as I recall, and we 
just had wonderful audiences, and it became an important event in 
San Francisco. I ran it for that first year. These people later 
succeeded me as chairman of the event. I know I'm not thinking of 
all of the names on there, but they were a very fine group of 
people altogether. 

Were you involved in subsequent years? 

I was involved but not running it, and not to the extent that I 
was that year. Once the pattern had been developed, it was a lot 
easier to keep the thing going because the good things we found 
out that we were doing we continued, the bad things we changed. 
There weren't too many bad things, though. It worked amazingly 
well. 



Glaser: You were on the board and treasurer of the San Francisco Life 
Insurance Company. 

Swig: Before we get there, back in the film festival, that's where I 
first met the gal I'm now married to. 

Glaser: Is that right? 

Swig: She was then going with Jack Mailliard, who became her husband a 
short time later. Jack and Charlotte and my later to-be-wife, 
Dee, became good friends over the years. When we both lost our 
spouses, we finally wound up getting married. 

Glaser: I did the mathematics and that is now twenty- five, twenty- six 
years ago . 

Swig: Twenty-six years ago, yes. Anyway, you were asking about the San 
Francisco Life-- 



132 



San Francisco Life Insurance Company 



Glaser 
Swig: 



Glaser 

Swig: 

Glaser: 
Swig: 



San Francisco Life Insurance Company. 

Well, that was a company owned by a man by the name of Karl Bach, 
or started by him. He asked me to join in the company and I did. 
I think I was treasurer of the company. It was a fairly 
successful venture and subsequently sold to another company. We 
all made money on it. It was fun doing it. 

I've heard about Mr. Bach and I understand he was a refugee who 
got his start by selling insurance to other refugees and was very 
successful . 



Actually, he got his start before that. 
house Fuller brushes. 

Oh really? Interesting. 



He was selling house to 



He was a refugee; he was from Germany. He was a butcher in 
Germany, or his family was. I guess he was. He was pretty young 
when he came here. He managed to get out before the onslaught and 
came to San Francisco and did start selling insurance finally to 
other German people. He became one of the most successful life 
insurance salesmen in the country. A wonderful guy, kind, 
charitable, a good person all the way, very bright, very able; he 
did a wonderful job in the insurance business. 



State SavinEs and Loan Association of Stockton 



Glaser 



Swig: 



State Savings and Loan Association of Stockton, 
board of directors at one point? 



You were on the 



I was there for a fairly short time with a friend of mine by the 
name of Sonny Marx, who is still around. Others of us made an 
investment in State Savings and Loan. He asked me to serve on 
that board and I did. It wasn't for too long, though. He 
subsequently sold the company and that was the end of that. 



133 



Stanford University Jewish Studies Program 



Glaser: You were on the advisory board of Stanford University's Jewish 
studies. 

Swig: Yes. I wasn't terribly active in it but it's a very good 

department. It's a Judaic study program and it's doing a very 
fine job at Stanford. It is very well attended and is becoming 
stronger and stronger each day, from everything I know about it. 
They work very closely with the program at USF [University of San 
Francisco] and at Cal and at G.T.U. [Graduate Theological Union]. 
They share speakers, for instance, who come through. Each of 
these organizations use those speakers so that it is good for all 
of the Judaic studies programs. There is a network of Judaic 
studies in this community now that is very, very strong. Stanford 
is one of the finer ones there is in the country today. 

Glaser: I think it was expanded several years ago. 
Swig: Yes, it was. 



President. Lake Merced Golf and Country Club 



Glaser 



Swig: 



Lake Merced Golf and Country Club, 
that. What did that entail? 



You were the president of 



I was many, many years ago. I've forgotten how long ago it was; 
I guess it must be over thirty years. I merely acted as 
president. I was on the board and they elected me president. 
That meant I had all the duties and obligations of a president 
running an organization. Of course, they had other people on the 
board with me. I merely ran the meetings and we all dictated 
policy in effect together. I was the supposed leader of the group 
for that time. 

There were a lot of things going on at that time. Highway 
280 came right through our property and took about thirteen, 
fourteen acres away from us. So we had to build a new club house 
and redesign the golf course and do all those things. I was at 
the beginning of that and began to get thinking going on what we 
would do and how we would do it at that time. 



Glaser: What sort of policy did it have for accepting members? 



134 



Swig: We accepted everybody. We have, and do have at that club today, 
male,* female, black, white, yellow, whoever is a good person can 
join. 

Glaser: The only standard being that you can afford the membership? 

Swig: You can afford it and you have to be a reasonably good, decent 
person. 



United Way of the Bay Area 



Glaser: You were on the board of directors of the United Way of the Bay 
Area. Were there problems during that time? 

Swig: There are always problems. No major ones. It was interesting, I 
enjoyed it, met some good people. I think I served two terms on 
that if I'm not mistaken. 

Glaser: Was there anything unusual going on during your period on the 
board? 

Swig: Yes, but I don't remember. We had nothing major, nothing 
terrible . 



Bay Area Council 



Glaser: Now (I'm going into current memberships on boards) you are on the 
Bay Area Council. What is that? 

Swig: The Bay Area Council is an organization (and I'm not on that 

anymore; I've recently gone off it) of people around the Bay- -it's 
mostly corporate types --who deal with the growth of the Bay Area, 
the environment of the Bay Area, the housing of the Bay Area, the 
transportation of the Bay Area, and all the major things affecting 
the Bay Area. Trying to use that organization in concert with all 
these people to promote the good welfare for the Bay Area. It is 
more practically a study group than anything else. 

Glaser: In yesterday's paper, there was an article about a push for 

regionalism. Would this organization be involved in that sort of 
thing? 

Swig: Yes, very definitely. 



135 



Glaser: Are you in favor of regionalism? 

Swig: I think you have to be in today's climate. 

Bov Scouts of America 



Glaser: Boy Scouts of America, on the advisory board. 

Swig: Peripherally involved. Merv Morris and I have given a lunch that 
we sponsor each year for the Boy Scouts. We've been a little 
remiss. Remiss is not the right word. We've been a little upset 
about the fact that they had some policies that we didn't care for 
too much this year. Maybe you've noticed that they have talked 
about gay young men and wanted to exclude them from becoming 
members of the Boy Scouts. Merv and I have a different opinion on 
that. 



Brown University 



Glaser: This is something that is near and dear to you: Brown University. 
You've been a trustee since 1974. 

Swig: Is that correct? Yes, I guess that's about right. I was a 

trustee for one six-year term. It was 1974. I'll have to look 
and see myself. No, I was a trustee from 1981 to 1987 and then 
went back on again in 1989 and that goes until 1995 if I am still 
here. 

Glaser: And you are a member of the Brown Foundation? 
Swig: Is that right? I don't think so. 
Glaser: You helped to run the-- 

Swig: I helped run the Brown fundraising campaign for a couple of years, 
which would be maybe 1985, 1986, or 1986 and 1987. I think 1985 
and 1986. I ran the fundraising campaign nationally for Brown 
while I was a trustee. I did do that. But the Brown Fund doesn't 
ring a bell to me. 

Glaser: But you received the-- 



136 



Swig: The Brown Annual Fund is a part of that campaign if that's what 
you mean. Maybe that's it. But that's a part and parcel of the 
total campaign. It's the alumni fundraising part of the campaign. 

Glaser: You received the L.E. Leonard, Jr., Distinguished Achievement 
Award . 

Swig: I did. 

Glaser: That must have given you a great deal of pleasure and 
satisfaction. 

Swig: It did. But the honorary degree I got a couple of years ago was 

even better. That I enjoyed more for obvious reasons. I received 
another minor honorary something or other from Brown as well, so 
I've been well rewarded for my work at Brown. It's been very 
rewarding . 

Glaser: You are very close to the university. 

Swig: I am and still am. I am on that board still. The new president 
is a man by the name of Vartan Gregorian who came in a couple of 
years ago, almost two years now, and who's doing a super job at 
Brown, a wonderful guy. The previous president, Howard Swearer 
(whom I knew), just a month ago passed away, unfortunately, a 
young man fifty- eight years old, from cancer. He had done a 
marvelous job at Brown. He had really done great things. He had 
decided that he had been president for about eleven years, 
something like that, and that he had burnt himself out a little 
bit. So we brought in this new guy by the name of Gregorian, who 
is just a totally different kind of person but equally remarkable 
and who will, I think, carry Brown on to bigger and better things. 



Civilian Advisory Committee 



Glaser: You are on the board of the Civilian Advisory Committee, the 
department of the army that has to do with the Presidio. 

Swig: I was more active in that, I'm not very active in that at all 
today. With the Presidio going out of business, it's academic 
anyway . 

Glaser: What did the board do? 



137 



Swig: We met with the generals over there and did everything in our 

power locally to build up a good quality relationship between the 
civilian population and the military. 



Columbia Park Boys' Club 



Glaser: 



Swig: 



Would you talk about the Columbia Park Boys' Club, 
the board. 



You were on 



Glaser 
Swig: 



Columbia Park Boys' Club is out in the Mission. They have about 
fifteen hundred young men who are helped in their athletic 
endeavors or artistic endeavors and have a place to go where they 
can elevate the quality of life for those young people who are 
coming mostly from a very poor and humble background. The 
organization has been in business for a long, long time. My 
father was on that board long before me, and it has been in 
business for, gee, I don't remember how long, but a very, very 
long time. 

I have enjoyed the work on that and now it's about to become 
a boys' and girls' club, so that they are joint venturing with the 
young ladies out there. I think the board just voted two or three 
weeks ago for this change. I know I voted for it. It will 
require some fundraising, obviously, to make the changes necessary 
to have women there as well as men, or girls as well as boys, I 
should say. They are not adults yet. It has done just a 
wonderful job in that community in elevating life for all those 
young people. 

What are the age groups? 

They run anywhere from about eight to eighteen, something in that 
order. 



Koret Foundation 



Glaser: You were appointed to the board of the Koret Foundation in 1986; 
this was after the lawsuit. 1 



1 A legal battle for control of the multi-million dollar Koret 
Foundation was settled out of court in June 1986. Mrs. Susan Koret, 
chairman of the foundation, had sought to remove the three directors, who 



138 



Swig: Yes.. 

Glaser: Were you involved in the lawsuit at all? 

Swig: No. Not at all. 

Glaser: When the audit was done, was there anything wrong that came to 
light? 

Swig: No. There were a couple of relatively minor things that did come 
to light. The people involved paid their dues and the attorney 
general ruled on it and that was the end of it. 

Glaser: What do you mean, they paid their dues? 

Swig: They paid some penalties or fines or what have you. 

Glaser: For wrongdoing? 

Swig: For some relatively little wrongdoing. They paid a lot of 
attorneys' fees too. 

Glaser: I imagine so. What was the effect of your serving on both the 

Koret Foundation and the Federation Community Endowment Fund? Was 
there a conflict of interest there? 

Swig: No, no. The Koret Foundation has nothing to do with the 
Federation. 

Glaser: It gives it a lot of money. 

Swig: That's a different story. It's a separate foundation having 

nothing to do with the Federation. It's intent is to help the 
Jewish community. No less than 50 percent of its money goes to 
Jewish causes, both domestically and overseas. It gives a little 
over fifty percent each year, usually 51, 52 percent, to all these 
causes. But it has no relationship to the Federation; only in the 
compatibility. It enjoys, likes, and appreciates what the 
Federation does and gives it a fair amount of money each year. 



countersued to have Mrs. Koret removed as chairman 
allegations of financial mismanagement. 



Also involved were 



139 



Not only the Federation in San Francisco but also Oakland and San 
Jose. 

Glaser: But your serving on the board of the endowment fund and the Koret 
Foundation, would that have an impact on decisions as to how the 
funds should be used by the endowment fund from the Koret 
Foundation? No? 

Swig: No. The money that is given by the Koret Foundation to the 

Federation goes to its annual programs, not to the endowment fund, 

Glaser: I see, to the Federation itself. 

Swig: Yes. It had nothing to do with the endowment fund. 



United Negro College Fund 

Glaser: You are on the advisory board of the United Negro College Fund. 

Swig: Yes. 

Glaser: Where does that fund meet? 

Swig: It doesn't meet very often. I meet with its director. Shirley 

Matthews is her name. I'm not as active as I once was but I have 
raised every year quite a lot of money for them. It goes to forty 
different black colleges in the United States, and supports those 
colleges- -fundraising. 

Glaser: Do you have anything to do with policymaking? 

Swig: No. Each college runs its own show, but this fund, throughout the 
country, raises money, and each of those schools is given money 
from this fund. 



United Services Organization fUSOl 



Glaser: I see. You are on the World Board of Governors for the USO, the 
United Service Organization. 

Swig: I was until June of this year, I think it was, when my term 
expired. I think I was for eight or ten years maybe. 



140 



Glaser: What was the function of the board of governors? 

Swig: Well, the board of governors was a board that supported, helped, 
and advised for the USO throughout the world. As you know, the 
USO is not only a Bob Hope show type of operation but helps all 
service people. And now, with the way things run, it helps their 
families, in Europe, in Israel, in the Mediterranean areas, Korea, 
the Philippines, and all the local bases where those people come, 
like San Francisco. We have out at the airport an office and all 
the folks coming into this port are met by the USO. Family advice 
is given where to stay, where to go, do you need money, what can 
we do to help you, all that kind of service, how the kids are 
handled. All that takes place at each port all over this country 
and all over the world. A huge work. 

Glaser: Mr. Swig, that sounds like the Red Cross' function. 

Swig: Oh no, not at all. Red Cross has nothing like that at all that I 
know of. The Red Cross functions mostly in the handing out coffee 
and doughnuts type of thing as far as the military is concerned. 
This is a family function. We have people over there helping 
families, helping with schools, helping with all kinds of 
emotional problems with families being transplanted all over the 
place. A whole bunch of things that they do that are over and 
above the entertainment process that takes place. 

Glaser: I'm a little surprised to hear this because USO to me meant a 

meeting place where you could play ping pong, get a free hot dog, 
and that was about it. 

Swig: That's what most people think. That was World War II. That's how 
it started. The USO is only fifty years old now, that's all it 
is. It is, relatively speaking, a young organization. It started 
during World War II; people like Bob Hope and all those wonderful 
entertainers who went out all over the place. Entertaining the 
troops was the first order of business. You remember all the 
dance places that the boys and girls -- 

Glaser: Stagedoor Canteen? 

Swig: That's right; all that stuff took place at that time. Anything to 
help the troops. We were in wartime, that kind of environment. 
But after the war ended the USO continued. We have a permanent 
military force that was not like it was prior to World War II, 
where we had practically no force. Our troops were all over the 
world at that time. We had troops in Germany by the bucketful. 
The Korean War started early in the fifties. We had troops over 
in Korea, still do. Troops in Japan. We are all over the world. 



Glaser 



Swig: 



Glaser 



Swig: 



Glaser 



141 



Our folks then began to travel with families, their kids, 
the wives. It was a whole social service aspect that took place 
that we never had before. The USO does that and does it very, 
very well. I used to scream at them a lot, telling them, "We 
don't tell our story. Everyone thinks of us still as just the 
entertainment part. We don't do that. We are a social service 
agency providing huge services for the military all over the 
world, doing a wonderful job." 

I guess I thought of the Red Cross because I know that during 
World War II if a service man needed compassionate leave because a 
family member was dying or was very ill, the Red Cross handled 
that. 

Yes, they did that. But that was a relatively minor kind of thing 
compared to what's going on today. 

I want to move on to ask you about Israel. Why is it so central 
to your life? 

Why? I guess you have to go back to my earlier beginnings, which 
occurred in the thirties, when the Father Coughlins of the world 
and the Nazis-- 



I have to interrupt you. 
you. 



There was one more thing I wanted to ask 



Swig: All right. Go ahead. 



Fundraising for San Francisco's New Main Library 



Glaser: You and Mrs. Swig are co-chairmen to raise funds for the new main 
library in San Francisco. 

Swig: Yes. 

Glaser: Would you tell me about that? 

Swig: Okay. A year and a half ago, I suppose, Ann Getty and Marjorie 

Stern and some others had us over to the Getty house and unloaded 
on us this program of raising money for the library (the bond 
issue had then been passed for the city to fill the library) . 
They asked us to raise the money to complete the interior of the 
building, which was going to be a $30 million project, $5 million 
of which was to be an endowment. We thought it over and kind of 
liked the idea. The library is such a necessary part of our 



142 



community, and it deals with education in all facets of it, we 
thought it would be good if we did it. 

So we agreed to take on a project of raising $30 million in 
this community. We're well on our way. We already have over $12 
million raised and we're working on the next five or six. We hope 
to get in a few more million before the end of the year. We are 
working on that and I hope we will be very successful. 



Glaser 



Swig: 



Glaser 

Swig: 

Glaser 

Swig: 



So it's going to be a new building, 
renovation of the old building. 



It's not going to be the 



That's correct. The new building will go down where the planning 
department used to be at Civic Center, nearer to Market Street. 
It will front on the Civic Center and be compatible with the 
present library in its design. It will be much bigger and much 
better laid out than the present library and therefore much more 
useful. It's a magnificent new building. The city passed a bond 
issue for $109 million and received a 77 percent positive vote on 
it, which is unheard of for that. To get 55 or 58 percent is a 
terrific victory and this got 77 percent. So it is very largely 
supported by the community. 

The problem for us is that it has no alumni, it has no 
boards, it has no people whom you can get out to raise money for 
it. Everybody loves the library, but there aren't that many 
people involved with it who can go out and raise the funds. 
Martin Paley was hired to be the professional for fundraising with 
his staff. Charlotte and I and Martin and his staff have raised 
the bulk of the money, practically all of the money so far, and it 
looks as if we're going to have to do the bulk of it ourselves. 
It is very hard to get volunteers to go out and raise money for 
it. 



I imagine so . 
Foundation? 



Is Martin Paley connected with the San Francisco 



Used to be. 

When you refer to his organization, what is it? 

He has himself and several other people, three or four other 
people, who assist him in his organization. They are hired by the 
library foundation to be the fundraising professionals for raising 
this money. 

Glaser: So he's acting as a consultant. 



143 



Swig: That's correct. Yes. 

Glaser: What's going to happen to the old building? 

Swig: The talk is, and it. hasn't been decided yet, that the Asian Art 
Museum will take that over, have its own drive, restore it, and 
make an Asian Art Museum out of it. The one that is out in Golden 
Gate Park now. 



144 



XVI MORE ON ISRAEL 



Centralitv of Israel 



Glaser: I interrupted you when you had started to talk about Israel. 
Let's go back now. 

Swig: Okay. 

Glaser: And I asked you why it has played such a central role in your 
life. 

Swig: I guess part of it is the fact that I was brought up and was a 
young man during the thirties when Hitler took over Germany and 
persecuted the Jews. I was humiliated very many times by my 
peers, in terms of anti-Semitism. I fought my way through school 
part of the time. 

Then, of course, World War II came along and all the 
terrible atrocities that we heard about occurred. Finally, the 
opportunity to have a place where Jews could call home became 
possible in 1947. The state was formed in 1948 and it just 
enveloped me as far as being the right thing to do, and the right 
place to go, and the right thing they had for our people. The old 
expression of the Wandering Jew has been prevalent for so many 
generations; here was a place to settle down, build roots, and 
make something that was very, very good. Had they been left alone 
and allowed to do all the things they wanted to do, it would have 
prospered much better than it has. But having been burdened with 
terrible wars and atrocities that they have had to experience, 
they have been slower in their development than they might 
otherwise have done, but still have done a remarkably fine job. 

Glaser: You and your family have been very involved. What have you done 
in Israel? By that I mean your contributions. 

Swig: You mean financial? 



145 



Glaser: Yes. 

Swig: Gosh. The first thing, of course, is that we support the 

Federation very strongly. Depending on what year you are talking, 
a fairly good percentage of the money goes to Israel. Over and 
above that, we have endowed chairs at the universities, we've 
built buildings and raised tons of money for it, gotten deeply 
involved in the Israel bond program as well as the Federation. So 
we've made what I hope are significant and continuing 
contributions to the State of Israel. 

Glaser: How many times have you visited? 

Swig: I don't know how many times, but I guess it's over twenty. I 
don't know how many; I've never counted. 



Political Situation 



Glaser: What do you think about the current political situation in Israel? 

Swig: I think that it's a very difficult one. I tend to get very upset 
with the extreme religious parties over there who are like the 
tail wagging the dog. As a matter of fact, at Koret Foundation, 
we are working to help to change the electoral system there so 
that they don't have those splinter groups controlling the balance 
of power. So that a government can be formed that will be 
independent of those people, because they are very extreme in 
their points of view and the bulk of Israel is not extreme. I've 
heard that 80, 85 percent generally would approve of an electoral 
reform that would eliminate that problem. 

Interesting that in all the history of Israel, when Ben 
Gurion was alive and Go Ida ^ir and so forth, they never had an 
absolute control of the go\ nment by votes for their party. 
There always were the splinter parties that they had to deal with 
in order to make the government function. They never had control 
and it's high time, it seems to me, that they elect one party and 
that party has control- -that they elect the individual, not the 
party. That's what we're working for and eventually, if that 
becomes successful, then hopefully the Knesset members will also 
be elected in the same way. That will give them an opportunity to 
accept or reject whoever is in the party, the elected official. 
If they like him, they keep him in; if they don't like him, they 
vote him out. 

Glaser: You're talking about the direct election of the prime minister. 



147 



Swig: They were Jews. Jews living in Israel were Palestinians the same 
as these people were. They all lived in Palestine. So Jews are 
Palestinians as well. 

Glaser: Oh yes, but the Palestinians are Arabs, they are not Jews. 

Swig: No, Palestinians are Jews. They have become Arabs. The Arabs 

call their people the Palestinians, but the Jews were Palestinians 
just as much as the Arabs were. 

Glaser: Yes. 

Swig: We have all forgotten that because the term Palestinians means 
today Arabs. But Jews are Palestinians too; there were a whole 
bunch of Jews living with those so-called Palestinians at that 
time before Israel became a state. Those people are Palestinians 
as well. 

So when Israel became a state, Jordan was living next to 
what became Israel, and Jordan was the fighter that took over 
Jerusalem and so forth. The people who were then living in 
Palestine decided to call themselves Palestinians, those Arabs. 
That's how the name was founded, I think. They became a symbol. 
The ones who were living in what is now Israel were told by the 
Arabs, "Get out of there. Come with us. Fight the Jews. We'll 
get back in. You'll take back over. Don't worry about it." 

Well, they didn't win the war. Israel fought them off. So 
they used those people, those Palestinians, as symbols of the 
terrible thing that Israel had done to them. They kept them in 
camps. They didn't have to keep them in camps. I was in Amman, 
Jordan, with my father and my late wife in 1977. I don't know 
whether I told you this or not. We were there as guests of the 
then queen; she provided a car and driver. There in the middle of 
Amman, Jordan, was a Palestinian camp, three generations of people 
living in it. Why do they keep that there? Why don't they let 
them be a part of their whole community? Only for one reason. 
They want to keep it as a symbol to show what the Israelis have 
done , the Jews have done . 

Right in the heart of Amman, Jordan, we saw it. The driver 
described it to us. That was the kind of thing that was occurring 
down near Jericho. They had a whole bunch of camps down there. 
They kept them there for years. Why? Gaza- -the Israelis tried to 
give it back to the Egyptians; they wouldn't take it. Israel 
tried to build housing there; the United Nations wouldn't let 
them. What are you supposed to do with it. Israel didn't want 
it; Egypt didn't want it. But Israel was forced to hold onto it 



146 



Swig: 

Glaser 

Swig: 



Glaser 



Swig: 



Correct. 

How are you working for this? 

We are working with some organizations as a study group to find a 
way to do this. We are allowed to do that and we are. Hopefully, 
something good will come of it. It may be that I'll go over there 
next spring and work on it myself. We already have hired some 
people to do that for us up to this point, and organizations who 
are working in that regard. If necessary, I would like to 
participate in it because I feel very strongly about it. I 
shouldn't be as dramatic as saying the survival of Israel depends 
on it, but I think that to a large extent that its good survival 
will depend on it. I think that if they overcome their rigid 
rules today, they will prosper and benefit more than they might 
otherwise do. 

Are there any other changes you would like to see brought about in 
Israel? 

Yes, I would like to see some peace over there. I hope they can 
find some way to make peace , because they spend an inordinate 
amount of their money and their budget into warfare kinds of 
elements. Having to keep a very large standing army, to buy all 
the weaponry that they have to buy, it's not exactly what you 
would call a wealthy community. They don't have the natural 
resources there that the oil rich nations do. That's what takes 
so damn much money from all the people around the world to support 
them and help them. If they didn't have that unusual burden, they 
could develop their own industries in a better way and become much 
more self-sufficient. 



Arab-Israeli Relations 



Glaser: How much land would you be willing to give up for peace? 

Swig: I would be willing to give up enough land for peace to keep their 
security, to keep it strong, and to give an element of feeling for 
the Palestinians to have their own symbol, if you will. They are 
really attached to Jordan, they always have been, so I don't feel 
like-- I could get in a long discussion about that one, but they 
are Jordanians. The Palestinians are also Jews; they don't 
mention that . 

Glaser: You don't mean Jews; you mean they are Semitic. 



149 



Swig: Syria, for gosh sakes, is worse than Saddam Hussein. 

Glaser: I wanted to ask you about the Golan Heights. When we talk about 
giving up land for peace, that would be very dangerous, wouldn't 
it? 

Swig: I don't know if you remember or not, but before the 1973 war, and 
I visited there many times and I've seen it, they barricaded the 
concrete abutments that were put in to hold their guns so that 
they could shoot at the land down below. Is Israel going to let 
them do that again? You know damn well there won't be peace. 
There can't be peace with a guy like Assad. Assad is worse than 
the guy over in Iraq, and God knows he's bad enough. But Assad is 
probably worse. 

It's interesting that the world doesn't care that he took 
over Lebanon, destroyed a beautiful city, a wonderful place which 
lived in relative peace with Israel for many, many years. He took 
over and Arafat took over in there and destroyed the country. The 
world doesn't seem to care about that. Only about Israel do they 
care and make a fuss. There is Lebanon and Beirut, its great 
city, it was the Paris of the Middle East, if you recall. It was 
destroyed, totally destroyed. Nobody raises a hand. Nobody says 
anything. 

So give them something? Yes, give them a token, but that's 
about all I would want to give, if it mean peace. If it meant 
peace, I would give them something, but it would have to be a damn 
good peace . 

You see the Arabs today. Did anybody raise a question about 
Iraq and Iran in the war that went on for eight years and killed 
1.7 million young people. Mr. Bush, our great president, was 
supporting the Iraqis because they were fighting the Iranians. 
There everybody was feeding them arms and plowing everything into 
them. The same thing will happen again, I believe, because there 
will be some other reason why to help them. Now, they are playing 
the same game with Syria. "If you make peace, we're going to give 
you this, we're going to give you that." All the same kind of-- 

Will there be peace over there? I don't think so. First of 
all, the Arabs kill the Arabs more than they kill the Jews. The 
only thing that they have in common is that they hate the Jews . 
That's the only thing that I know of that they have in common. 
Other than that they butcher each other like mad. 

I remember I had dinner one night in Israel with a friend of 
mine, and he brought along a general and his wife. That general 



148 



Glaser : 

Swig: 

Glaser: 



and take all the abuse of the Gaza Strip. Most of those Gazans 
were working in Israel; that's where they made their living. The 
Egyptians didn't take care of them, but Israel did. 

But when that non- Palestinian Arafat got involved and built 
up the emotions of all these people, they had a symbol to fight 
for and they were going to kick the Jews out. They never liked 
them anyway, let's face it- -for the most part. 

So what are we talking about, the Palestinians? But the 
world doesn't know about that. The world never remembers the 
history of Jerusalem, which our great Randolph Hearst said should 
be made an international city in an editorial the other day-- He 
doesn't remember, or little cares, that that city was forbidden to 
Jews during the occupation by Jordan of that city. They took the 
cemeteries on the Mount of Olives and made roads out of the marble 
gravestones and destroyed and desecrated the Jewish cemeteries. 
Mr. Hearst doesn't remember that. Now he says, "Internationalize 
it." 

It's been internationalized and is internationalized. Every 
religion is allowed to go there, and yet Mr. Hearst says it should 
be internationalized. Christians have their churches, Armenians 
have their churches, these have their churches, all of them have 
churches, and all of them live side by side. If they weren't of 
the Arafat type of mentality, they would be living reasonably 
peacefully. 

When Mr. [Teddy] Kollek became mayor of that city, look at 
the wonderful things he did for the Arabs. He built roads, 
schools, and houses, and gave them water every day. They used to 
have it maybe two or three times a week when they lived under 
Jordan. They became part of the community. Mr. Hearst says 
internationalize it. 

I get on a stand on this, I guess, but what should they 
have? I've said many times to friends of mine, "Let's negotiate 
with those people. Give them some land for peace. I'll predict 
for you that it won't happen because they will get so demanding 
and so outrageous, with a guy like Arafat, that it would be 
impossible to live under the conditions that he would set for his 
people." Who aren't his people; he was born in Egypt. He doesn't 
come from Palestine. 

You don't hold out any hopes for the current peace conference? 

No, not too much. 

What about the Golan Heights? 



150 



is now the chief of staff of the Israeli army. The Lebanon 
invasion by Israel had just finished. He said, "We were sitting 
in Lebanon and we sat with all these Lebanese people, bright, 
intelligent, educated, lovely people. We sat, we had dinner, we 
went home. The next day those same people were out butchering." 
That was that massacre that happened where-- 

Glaser: Sabra and Shatilla? 

Swig: Yes. "These same people were out butchering the next day. We 
couldn't believe. How could you figure these wonderful people 
could do a thing like that." That's the history of the Arab 
nations. They butcher each other. Iraq knocked off Kuwait. 
Saudis fighting off Iran; although they are not Arab, they are 
Moslem. Saudi Arabia is having a helluva time with the 
fundamentalists again and worrying about Iran. The 
fundamentalists killed Sadat in Egypt. How do you make peace over 
there under those conditions? 

The Israelis showed their desire for peace when they made 
peace with Egypt. They gave up a huge amount of stuff, including 
oil that they themselves had discovered, for the benefit, as it 
turned out, of Egypt. They gave it all up for peace. They showed 
their intent. Give up Jerusalem? No way. They can't. Have you 
ever been there? 

Glaser: Oh sure. 

Swig: Okay. Well, you know you can't give up Jerusalem. It's part and 
parcel of the whole of Israel. The Wailing Wall, so-called, was 
not available to Jews prior to 1967. A Jew couldn't set foot over 
there. You were not allowed to. You could almost see it from the 
King David Hotel but you couldn't stand over there and go to the 
wall. How are you going to have peace and give up Jerusalem? I 
don't see it. 



Glaser: Well, I'm sure that's not going to happen, but I think it is 
really a step forward that people are meeting. 

Swig: I'm delighted with that, of course I am. I don't trust it too 

much, to be honest with you. I don't think it's going to work too 
well. That's my gut feeling. 

Glaser: But it's always better to talk rather than-- 

Swig: Talk rather than shoot, absolutely. I'm for that all the way. As 
I said to you, I urged at times that the government speak even to 
the PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization]. They'll only kill 
themselves. They'll screw themselves into the ground because 



151 



their demands will be so preposterous that Israel will come out 
looking good and say, "Hey, we tried. We failed." That was my 
philosophy. Nobody listened to me but that's what I felt ought to 
have happened way back. 

I'm going back quite a few years now, when I first 
enunciated that. I felt that if Israel had talked to the PLO--I 
know that's not popular, but if they had talked to the PLO and sat 
down and tried to negotiate with them, that the PLO would be so 
demanding and so absolutely impossible to deal with that Israel 
would look the better for it. It didn't happen. 

Glaser: Yes, but Arafat has now screwed himself into the ground, to use 
your phrase. 

Swig: That's right. And I think that's what would have happened in a 
better way for Israel had they done it at that time. But there 
was no way anybody would ever think of that. I understand the 
emotion that goes with an Arafat. Even today the world forgets 
all the atrocities that he committed and his whole group. There 
are several divisions of them apparently. They have committed 
terrible atrocities. 

Glaser: I have never been able to understand the vast amounts of money 
that he was given by other Arab countries like Kuwait and Saudi 
Arabia. 

Swig: They were scared of him. It's a payoff. 

Glaser: But why were they scared him? 

Swig: He's a terrorist. He can commit mayhem. 

Glaser: I suppose you're right. 

Swig: And that's a part of it. It -aay not be all of it, but it is 
certainly a major part of it. 



152 



XVII POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT 



Northern Californians for Good Government 



Glaser: I want to talk to you about politics in this country now. 
Swig: Okay. 

Glaser: You are involved in the San Franciscans for Good Government that's 
now the Northern Californians for Good Government. How did this 
come about and when, and what does it do? 

Swig: It came about five, six years ago maybe. Seven. I don't remember 
exactly. Five or six anyway. These PACs [political action 
committees] started to form around the country to provide funds 
for candidates who were friendly to Israel, in Congress, in the 
Senate. In our particular case, we would not support anybody in 
California, only outside of California. We didn't want to get 
into partisan politics within the state. We support with an 
emphasis, incidentally, on those areas in the country that have 
very few Jewish people, because here in San Francisco, as an 
example, we have plenty of people who can support whomever they 
want. But in outlying areas, in the Dakotas and the Midwest 
generally, there aren't too many Jewish families out there. We 
felt that we wanted to make an impression with those people. We 
support them; we hope they'll support us and support Israel. 

We've been very successful in it. We've done a very good 
job. Our people in this community have been one of the better 
communities in the country in showing its support on a non- 
partisan basis to those people who support Israel. That was the 
genesis, that's how it formed, and that's what its present 
activity is. 

Glaser: You are the chairman now. 



153 



Swig: I'm the president. I guess it's president now. But I'm about to 
go out of office on that too. You see, I'm getting older. I'm 
cutting down. [Laughter] 

Glaser: I don't think so, not when I see all that you're involved in. 
This is aside from AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs 
Committee] , which you are also very active in. 

Swig: But AIPAC is different. AIPAC is a political action group in the 
sense that it tries to influence decisions among the present 
incumbents . 

Glaser: It's a registered lobby. 

Swig: They're registered lobbyists for the State of Israel, which is 
different from what we do. They don't give any money to 
candidates or anything like that. They merely try to sit down and 
discuss issues with people and influence them in a way like any 
lobbyist would. 



Democratic Party Politics 



Glaser: I know that you are very involved with the Democratic party. 

Swig: I am. 

Glaser: You knew Jack Kennedy. 

Swig: I did. 

Glaser: Can you tell me about that. 

Swig: I didn't know him really well. It is interesting that he and I 

were the same age. We came from the same section of the country. 
We lived not very far away from each other, actually, relatively 
few miles. As a matter of fact, he lived on the same street that 
my grandmother lived on, and I never met him when I lived in 
Boston. When I first met him he was a senator. I think about 
1957 maybe was when I met him, 1958 possiblywhatever it was. He 
was a very nice guy and we had nice chats and talked about our 
upbringing and where we came from. I went to Brown; he went to 
Harvard. As I said, we lived probably within eight or ten miles 
of each other and never met. 

I found him relatively shy, kind of standing off in a 
corner. That's how I happened to go up to him. I saw him 



152a 



The Northern California Jewish Bulletin 
September 13, 1991 



S.F.'s pro-Israel PAC expands 
to include N. Calif. 



By LESLIE KATZ 

Of the Bulletin Staff 

With the football season upon 
us, if s a shame Northern Califor- 
nians for Good Government 
won't be predicting the odds. It 
seems the S.E-based political ac 
tion committee has a knack for 
picking winners. 

The winners it picks, though, 
aren't teams they are members 
of Congress with strong pro-Is 
rael voting records. 

During the 1989-90 election cy 
cle, for example, NCGG allocated 
more man $125,000 to candidates 
running for both the Senate and 
the House. More than 85 percent 
of the candidates it supported 
won their elections. 

Now, NCGG is gearing up to 
repeat its track record in 1992. 

While $125,000 might not seem 
like much in the big-bucks world 
of campaign financing, ifs a lot 
"when you put it in perspective, 
compare it to a lot of little [pro- 
Israel] PACS around the coun 
try," according to NCGG execu 
tive director Barbara Kaltenbach. 
Most give much less, she says. 

The Jewish PAC already has 
donated $35,000 to campaigns for 
the upcoming elections. 

Kaltenbach, a former legisla 
tive assistant, admits that "a lot 
of people are against PACs." 
Those critics say the $5,000-per- 
candidate-per-PAC allowance di 
minishes the relative influence of 
individual contributors. 

Even so, Kaltenbach believes 
pro-Israel PACs are essential for 
the Jewish state at a time when 
pro-Arab lobbyists are gaining in 
numbers and influence. 

Unlike some pro-Israel PACS 
around the country, NCGG es 
tablished in 1981 is bipartisan. 
But members say there are no 
conflicts between Republicans 
and Democrats over supporting 
candidates from rival parties. 

"The one issue of this PAC is 
that it is pro-Israel, and that tran 
scends party lines," says Mel 
Swig, chair of the PAC and one of 
its founding members. 



Formerly San Franciscans for 
Good Government, the PAC, 
which has more than 100 board 
members, recently became 
Northern Californians for Good 
Government when it incorporat 
ed smaller pro-Israel PACS from 
the East Bay and Peninsula. 

By joining the San Francisco 
group with other smaller PACS, 
"we decided we could raise more 
money than has been raised be 
fore," Swig says. 

The reason the word Israel 
does not appear in the group's 
name, according to Kaltenbach, is 
that organizers wanted to main 
tain a low public profile to avoid 
being the target of anti-Israel at 
tacks. Still, Kaltenbach says, she 
has received a number of anony 
mous threatening phone calls. 

Some have accused Israel of 
"murdering Palestinians." 

Though people sometimes con 
fuse NCGG with the American 
Israel Public Affairs Committee 
(AIPAC), Kaltenbach says that 
unlike AIPAC which is not a 
PAC but a national lobbying 
group prohibited from contribut 
ing or endorsing candidates 
NCGG's influence is solely finan 
cial. 

NCGG campaign contributions 
collected through traditional 
fund-raising tactics such as 
events and mailings are allo 
cated according to the type of 
race, difficulty of the opposition, 
and how strong support for Is 
rael in a given geographic area 
appears to be. 

In fact, many "pro-Israel" sen 
ators and members of Congress 
now in office received at least 
some aid from NCGG, Swig says, 
earning it "a reputation as one of 
the strongest pro-Israel PACs in 
the country. People respect us, 
come to us and ask for our sup 
port." 

Some of the politicians now in 
office who have benefited from 
NCGG's support are Sens. Joseph 
Biden (D-Del.), Tom Harkin (D- 
lowa), John Bingaman (D-N.M.), 
Howell Heflin (D-Ala.) and Larry 
Pressler (R-S.D.). 



Surprisingly, though NCGG is 
California-based, it contributes 
only to electoral campaigns out 
side its home state. That's be 
cause there already exists strong 
support for pro-Israel candidates 
within California, with its sub 
stantial Jewish population, ac 
cording to Swig. 

The group instead focuses its 
attention on candidates in parts 
of the country where pro-Israel 
sentiment is harder to come by. 
"There is an emphasis on states 
with low Jewish populations, like 
the Dakotas, Minnesota, Utah," 
Swig explains. "We don't miss 
any races." 



155 



Swig: Yes, philosophically I'm a Democrat. I think Mr. Cuomo best 

expressed it in a speech he made in the 1984 convention here in 
San Francisco, when he made what I thought was one of the great 
speeches I have ever heard in politics. That speech expressed 
very clearly why I am a Democrat. It had nothing to do with 
individuals. It had nothing to do with anything except 
philosophy. And philosophically, that's where I come from. 

Glaser: Do you think that Governor Cuomo will run for the office of the 
president? 

Swig: It's beginning to look as if he will, but it's awfully hard to 
tell for sure. I think the fact that he hasn't said no, up to 
this moment, an absolute no, and from talking to some people I 
know who happen to know him, it appears that he might run and make 
that decision within the next couple of weeks. 

Glaser: He's getting a bad press for waffling yes or no on it. 

Swig: I think that's appropriate. I would prefer to see him get out and 
do his thing and, if possible, keep other candidates from 
announcing. And maybe some of the present ones would retire from 
the race, which would save everybody a lot of money and a lot of 
effort. 

Glaser: What do you think is the future of the Democratic party? 

Swig: I think that the future is as good as it's always been. It 

controls the governors, it controls the Congress, it controls the 
Senate. I think we have put up poor candidates for president, and 
I think we've gotten our ears bent back. Our poor candidates for 
president, however, might have been a helluva lot better than what 
I have seen in Washington in the last ten years. I think our 
country has gone down the tubes in many respects due to the fact 
that the Republicans have done just a terrible job. 

Reagan, as popular as he was when he was president, I think 
the real truths of the matter are beginning to come out and 
emerge, and he's not as popular as he once was. I don't think 
Bush is as popular as he once was when the war was going on a year 
or so ago. I think the domestic policy is absolutely in a 
shambles. We are in a recession. We have a debt that is mind- 
boggling. The bulk of it occurred in the last ten years, and I 
think we are in deep trouble unless we can find ways, and I'm sure 
there are and I can think of some, and I have discussed some with 
our politicians. There are ways, I hope, that we can emerge out 
of this thing, if we had leadership. 



154 



standing that way so I decided that somebody ought to be talking 
to this guy. I went up and introduced myself and we had a nice 
chat. Time went by, and now the guy came back and he was running 
for president, and we met again. I went to a dinner; I think it 
was at the Palace Hotel. A big crowd was there, and the guy was 
dynamic. He wasn't the shy, fairly young man that I knew then. 
He was a real dynamo at that point. Captured the crowd, did a 
great job. So I met him and chatted for a few minutes and that 
was it. That was the total of my experience with him. Then of 
course he was elected and unfortunately was killed. 

Glaser: You are on the executive committee of the National Jewish 
Democratic Council. 

Swig: Where did you find all this information? That just happened 
recently. 

Glaser: Well, I got a letter from them. That's how I found out. 
[Laughter] 

Swig: Oh, I see. 

Glaser: I wouldn't have known otherwise. [Laughter] 

Swig: Okay. 

Glaser: Tell me about that. 

Swig: A fellow by the name of Morton Mandel from Cleveland heads that 
up. There are a lot of nice people around the country whom I 
respect who formed together to get a Jewish point of view across. 
It's almost like another lobbying job, I guess. It lets 
candidates know that we are alive and kicking, that we want to 
talk about our issues, and that we are going to help and support 
those people who support us. And that's what we're about. 

a 

Glaser: As a Democrat, do you support the party or the man? 

Swig: Well, philosophically, I'm a Democrat. That's the first essence. 
If the candidates are good as Democrats, I will support them. On 
several occasions, when I felt that the candidates were not 
particularly good and if the Republicans were better, I supported 
the Republican. Most of the time I support Democrats. 

Glaser: So then yours is really a pragmatic approach. 



154a 



/.. 1 



Official Newsletter of the National Jewish Democratic Council 



Issue 2 



Jctoisfc Democratic 




NJDC Executive Committee member Mel Swig has 
made his home in the western part of the United States, as 
have many NJDC leaders. He is Vice-Chairman of the 
Board of Fairmont Hotel Management Company and 
Chairman of the Board of Swig, Weiler, and Dinner 
Development Company in San Francisco, California. His 
current civic affiliations include Brandeis University 
(Trustee), Brown University (Trustee), Stanford University 
Jewish Studies (Advisory Board), United Negro College 
Fund (Advisory Board), and United Service Organizations 
(World Board of Governors). 



156 



I think one of the major problems we have is that our 
leadership in this country, on both sides, has been severely 
damaged. It's been damaged by a thing like the Thomas situation, 1 
which vilified people and caused good people not to want to be 
involved. So good people don't run for office as much as they 
used to. We have rules and regulations that have made it so 
difficult for good people to run. We've tried so hard to be so 
purely democratic that I think we loused it up. 

An example: in my opinion we used to get much better 
candidates, much stronger candidates, when we had smoke-filled 
rooms. Today we nominate, and we play politics, and we make it so 
difficult for people. We make them expose their whole lives to 
the whole world. Good, high quality, intelligent people don't 
want to put up with that kind of nonsense. In the old days, we 
used to get people who felt strongly about their government, 
wanted to serve in Washington to help the government on the 
cabinet level, or what have you. You look at the kind of cabinet 
people we get today. It ain't very good. They're pretty well 
second raters, most of them. We need to get back that good 
businessman from here, there, or elsewhere who is willing to 
sacrifice something to go into government, not to be maligned for 
doing it. I think we have to change the rules. 

We've also made it so difficult in trying to be democratic 
by restricting the amount of money that these individuals can 
raise from any one person. The result is that our congresspeople 
(they are elected every other year) have to spend half their time 
raising money all over the country in order to run a campaign. We 
put in a law in 1975, I think it was, that a thousand dollars was 
the most any one person can give for a single campaign. That is 
worth about maybe $150, $200 today, I don't know. In the 
meantime, things have gone through the roof in expenses. So these 
poor people have to go out all over the country and raise money. 
That's all they do, raise money. Every time they go out they have 
to raise money. It takes too damn much time and effort to do 
that. 

Glaser: But Mr. Swig, if you allow unlimited funds, don't you also get 
influence peddling like what happened to Senator Cranston? 

Swig: That's a totally different issue in my opinion. Mr. Cranston did 
not take the money for himself. That's very clear. Mr. Cranston 
used the money for the Democratic party to get out the vote and 
that type of thing, but he did not take the funds himself because 



'The Clarence Thomas hearing in Congress when Judge Thomas was 
nominated to sit on the Supreme Court. 



157 



that was illegal, number one. Yes, you can get influence 
peddling, if you want to call it that. I guess you could, but I 
remind you that back when that influence peddling occurred we were 
getting better candidates to run for office than we get today, in 
my opinion. 

Call it what you will. I don't know what the pure line is. 
I wouldn't like to see the government supporting all these people 
in terms of their fundraising. Maybe that's a way to do it. But 
then you would have every Tom, Dick, and Harry and his brother Joe 
running for office, and that would louse up the situation. So 
there is no perfect way to do this. Don't get me wrong; I'm not 
suggesting that one way is more perfect than the others. 

I do think that maybe we shouldn't have it unlimited, but we 
sure should have a CPI [Consumer Price Index] cost of living index 
kind of thing to allow them to have more than the thousand dollars 
they have. It would reduce the amount of time that these people 
have to spend on raising funds and would keep pace with inflation 
and the cost of running a campaign, which is huge today. 



Republican Candidates 



Glaser: Do you think if Patrick Buchanan enters the race he is going to 
help the Democrats by pulling votes away from President Bush? 

Swig: Any time you get into that kind of an event, I think it helps the 
other party. Pat Buchanan is an extremist, not very friendly to 
Jewish people. Tends to be a little like this fellow Duke, I 
think, although I don't think Buchanan has been a member of the 
KKK [Ku Klux Klan] . But I think his actions or words are somewhat 
akin to what they believe. I think he puts Bush in a terrible 
position. Maybe he moves Bush a little more toward center, takes 
away the right-wing element and clearly divides the party, which 
in some ways may be a benefit because then the Republicans, or a 
guy like Bush, who, I think, has tried to play up to the right- 
wingers to too much of an extreme, now won't have to play that 
game with them because they have got Buchanan to back. So Bush 
has to go more to the middle to get that element of the people. 
So it may be a blessing in disguise in a way. 

Then if he happens to get elected, or nominated even, the 
right-wingers are almost legislated out of the party. They hurt 
him. They don't have as much influence within. Bush talked 
about, as I recall, voodoo economics before Reagan was nominated 
and now is a participant in that voodoo economics situation, which 



158 



he aptly described before, he doesn't have to play that game with 
them anymore. It might be better if he happens to be reelected. 
I see Buchanan helping the country, not hurting it. 



159 



XVIII FAMILY 



Father's Influence 



Glaser: I want to ask you now about your family. I have observed that 
children, especially the sons, of fathers who have achieved a 
great deal find it hard to live up to the example that is set by 
the father. Not necessarily that the father is trying to 
manipulate the children, but he raises a high standard for the 
children. Has that been true in your family? 

Swig: Yes, I guess there is an element of that but I don't see it as 

sharply in my family, at least, as in other families. My father 
could be described as one of those, obviously, and I should have 
therefore gone the opposite route as so many kids do and say, "The 
hell with him, I'm going the other way. I've got to do my own 
thing." But I didn't take that attitude. My father I loved and 
respected, obviously, and I thought he did wonderful things. I 
think I gained from that and learned from that and I hope I 
followed the same patterns. And I think I have. I didn't do it 
maybe in exactly the same way that he did it, but conditions are 
different in each generation so there is no way, it's always going 
to be the same thing. 



Sons' Community Involvement 



Swig: I like to believe that my children-- I know there is a 

compatibility with my thinking and my father's thinking in terms 
of Jewish life and Jewish ways, if you will. My oldest son, 
Steve, is very active in the Jewish community, sits on the board 
of the Federation, and does a lot of good things. My son Bob is 
still very young; it's a second family so he is much younger than 
Steve, but I know what his thinking is and what his feelings are 
and where he puts his money. My son Kent lives in New York, 
active in the Jewish community and doing his thing. They all 



160 



belong to the same temple and contribute to it. So I have a 
feeling that they will continue to do it. I'm very pleased about 
it, obviously. 



Wives 



Glaser: Tell me about your wives. You were first married to Phyllis 
Diamond, and were divorced, and she died subsequent to the 
divorce. Whom did you then marry? 

Swig: I married a girl named Marcia Hove who was the mother of my twin 
boys . 

Glaser: Bob and Kent are twins? 

Swig: Bob and Kent. Yes. She was a buyer for Joseph Magnin and I met 
her when I was involved with Cyril Magnin. She was a lovely gal. 
Unfortunately she was an alcoholic and that led to serious 
problems between us. It ended in divorce, unfortunately, but she 
was a good gal and a very nice person. She had this terrible 
affliction which I couldn't control nor could she. And as a 
matter of fact, when the boys were thirteen she died as a result 
of her alcoholism. 

Glaser: Did you have custody of your sons? 

Swig: Yes I did. 

Glaser: How old were they when you assumed custody? 

Swig: They were five or six, I think it was, when we were divorced. I 

didn't have legal custody. I took illegal custody of them but was 
never challenged. She understood her weaknesses, I think, and 
realized that she couldn't handle it very well. 

Glaser: It must have been difficult for you, with such children so young. 

Swig: Oh boy, yes. When I took them, I guess they were about seven at 
the time. I built a house over in Marin where I could take care 
of them, and we lived there, and we did very well. 

Glaser: And your third wife? 

Swig: She was a wonderful gal whom I met in 1971, which was about six 
years after I had been divorced. She was just a wonderful human 
being. 




Benjamin Swig being Bar Mitzvahed in Israel by Rabbi Simon Greenberg, July 1975 




San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos , Melvin M. Swig, Mary and Steven Swig, May 5, 1988 




Melvin M. Swig and son Robert, 1989. 



161 



Glaser: She was known as Dee. Was her full name Dolores? 

Swig: Dolores, yes. 

Glaser: What was her last name? 

Swig: Cochrane. That was her married name; she had lost her husband. 

Glaser: She shared a lot of your political activities. 

Swig: She shared all my activities very well. 

Glaser: I used to see her with you at American Jewish Committee 
activities . 

Swig: Yes. She had a strong commitment to the good things of life. She 
was a bright, attractive, marvelous human being. There wasn't 
anything that I participated in that she wasn't there for 
everything. Everything good. She adopted my children after their 
mother died. She was very active at their bar mitzvah, helped put 
it on and do all the work. Their mother died, as I recall, within 
two or three weeks after their bar mitzvah. Their natural mother 
was not present at the bar mitzvah; she was dying at that time. 
Dolores was their mother. 

Glaser: Did she have children of her own? 

Swig: She had two daughters of her own and six grandchildren. You know, 
she just did a swell job. It was a very happy marriage; we were 
married for almost seventeen years very happily. She died from 
lung cancer. She smoked to the day she died, I think. There was 
nothing anybody could do about it. She was terribly sick for a 
couple of years, in pain, great discomfort. It was a very bad 
ending . 

Then as I told you, I had met this lady by the name of 
Charlotte in 1965. Actually I knew her before I met my wife Dee. 
Not too long after Dee died, just by accident, we happened to be 
sitting together one night at a dinner. 

Glaser: According to Bishop Swing, it wasn't an accident. 
Swig: Oh, it was quite an accident. 

Glaser: [Chuckles] Well, he takes a little credit for seating you 
together. 



162 



Swig: Actually he had nothing to do with it. If he says that, he's 

wrong. I think he would like to take credit for it; I don't blame 
him. It was kind of a romantic thing, I suppose. But at a Grace 
Cathedral dinner, which was I guess about a month or so after my 
wife died-- I am on the board there, as you know, and so a woman 
by the name of Cathy Bellis asked me who did I want to sit with. 
I said, "Cathy, I don't know who's going to be there." Poor Cathy 
died not long after that; a fairly young woman too. Anyway, she 
said, "Who do you want to sit with?" I said, "Well, who's going?" 
She mentioned some names. I don't remember the other names but 
she came to Charlotte. I said, "Well, why don't you put me with 
Charlotte because we are old friends." I thought it would be fun. 

Practically the first person to come to ray house when Dee 
died was Charlotte. My wife Dee used to cook for her husband when 
he was dying. She made things that Jack Mailliard liked. She 
used to bring them over to their house, and Jack would like them 
very much. It was that kind of a relationship. 

Anyway, so I just sat with Charlotte. That evening we 
danced a dance or two, and we said good night and that was the end 
of it. There was no romance; there was nothing happening. But a 
few weeks later I thought, "Why don't I take Charlotte to dinner?" 
And that's how it started. That's where it all happened- -like 
friends. She is, and was, a really dear friend. That's how the 
romance started. 




Charlotte M. Swig and Melvin H. Swig, 1989 



163 



XIX PHILANTHROPIC DECISIONS 



People in Need 



Glaser: You are involved with so many organizations. How do you choose 
what to give your time and money to? 

Swig: Gosh, I don't know the answer to that. I don't choose it per se. 
Money is given, to a large extent, to people. Outside of my 
Jewish charitable stuff, which I've explained to you comes out of 
my heart and soul, the other charitable things are certainly 
people in need that you care about. But the other things come as 
a result of who asked you. As my father used to say, "It's a good 
thing he was not born a woman. He doesn't know how to say no." 
[laughter] I guess I must have inherited it. It's a little 
difficult to say no to your friends . So you tend to give to a 
fair extent to those organizations with which your friends are 
involved. 

Then also when you ask for money, as I do very often, you 
become then obligated in a sense when they come to ask you to 
return the favor. So it happens that way too. I happen to do a 
fair amount of asking, so I'm asked also as well to give and you 
must respond. 

But basically it's those things that touch you, like in 
today's world the homeless people. You want to make sure they are 
cared for as best you can, although I think it's band-aid 
treatment what we do. I think we have to get to the causes of the 
thing. Take away the causes of why we have homeless as opposed to 
doing what we're doing. We're just helping like a little pimple. 
We don't do anything really major in reconstructing their lives 
and helping the way I think we ought to be. But those are things 
that we care about. 

We care about education so we help educational facilities. 
We care about the library. We care about the Museum of Modern 



164 



Art. We care about universities and that's where a good 
percentage of our money goes . 



Satisfaction Gained 



Glaser: In all these activities, all of the calls upon your energy and 
funds, what gives you the most satisfaction? 

Swig: You know, one of the things that gave me the most satisfaction 
that I can think of, that comes quickly- -there are other things 
that do, don't get me wrongbut one of the most is the 
scholarship fund that I did at Brown University, where I am 
sending kids through school who otherwise wouldn't be able to go 
to school. When I get letters from those kids, it brings tears to 
my eyes to think that those kids (and they are from Northern 
California mostly) are going to school, to a fine university, and 
getting help because of a scholarship that I was able to give. I 
think that is one of the most important things I've done. I like 
that. 

When I got my honorary degree from Brown, the president of 
the university alluded to the fact that I wasn't able to complete 
my education because I had to go work. There was a Depression on 
and my father wasn't all that well-to-do, and I went out and went 
to work and didn't complete my schooling. He alluded to that. 
When he talked about it, because I gave this money to Brown, the 
kids got up and cheered. I had never seen that before in any 
graduation I had been at where I was present. The kids got up and 
cheered. That gave me such tearful warmth that I think it is the 
best thing I have ever done. 

I just love the fact that it is still going on and it will 
continue ad infinitura. Any money tiat I give again to Brown will 
go into that fund to embellish it and make it bigger because I 
think that is the best thing I have ever done at Brown. I have 
given money to a lot of different things at Brown, but that is the 
most rewarding. 



Inter-Religious Activity 



Glaser: What brought you to become so involved in and concerned about 
inter-religious associations? 



165 



Swig: I got that out of the American Jewish Committee as a part of my 

education with them. From experience, I feel that the non-Jewish 
community to a large extent doesn't really understand the Jewish 
community and understand Jewish people as well as they might. The 
ghettoism, if you will, in both communities is such that they 
don't really get together enough. They don't socialize together; 
they don't meet together enough. Banks have excluded up until 
fairly recently Jews. Clubs excluded them. Universities used to. 
All those things happened. It seemed to me that as long as 1 was 
an identified Jew-- Everybody in the world knows I am. I don't 
hide it as some people have done in the past and tried to join the 
other side because they didn't like being Jewish. Contrarily, I 
am Jewish and everybody knows what I am, and I am all those things 
that I've talked about. I felt that if I could become a part of 
the other community, identified as a Jew and helping that 
community and working with that community, they would find out 
that we don't have horns, that we are rather nice people, that we 
can have a lot in common and do a lot of things together. I think 
it has worked pretty well that way. 

Bishop Swing invited me to serve on his board at Grace 
Cathedral and we've got a wonderful relationship. I have a fine 
relationship with those people. They have treated me beautifully. 
My experience at USF has been similar. Great friends. Nice 
people. I think I told you this, we formed the first and maybe 
the only chair in Judaic studies in a Catholic university. The 
courses that are taught there are a turn-on to the students. They 
flock to those courses almost more than they do to their own. I 
think not almost more, they are definitely more. So those things 
are helpful, I think, in establishing relationships. If I can 
contribute to that, then I have done something good for people. 
That's what it is all about. 



166 



XX A LOOK TO THE FUTURE 

Direction of the San Francisco Jewish Community 



Glaser: In looking at the Jewish community of San Francisco, in what 

direction should it be going in the future that it is not now? 

Swig: You know, for so many generations the Jewish community has done so 
much good for its own people I don't think they could change an 
awful lot. I think they are going to continue in that mode, and I 
think they are doing the right thing when they do do that. They 
take care of their people. They watch out over them. I just hope 
that they don't lose that identity and continue with doing that 
same kind of thing, because it is very important. 



Assimilation 



Swig: A lot of people are worried about assimilation. I think if the 
Jewish religion isn't strong enough to hold its people there is 
something wrong with the Jewish religion. But I think it is 
strong, and I think the Jewish religion will hold its people 
together. It is a fine religion, a very good religion, in my 
opinion. I don't like some parts of our religion, but I like most 
of it. I respect it and I think it is easy to take, comfortable, 
and yet teaches good. But all religions teach good, of course. 
But I think it is a comfortable religion to live with and not so 
demanding that it overpowers one. But it teaches the rights and 
wrongs of a way of life, and this is a comfortable place to be. 

I think the inter-marriage question which bothers a lot of 
people is-- What is it? Thirty- three percent of marriages today 
are to Jews? 

Glaser: No. Much more. 



167 



Swig: Is it more than that? 

Glaser: Yes. I think it is almost 50 percent. 

Swig: I don't think it is that much. I think it is somewhere around- - 

Maybe it is 40 percent that are inter-marriages. But an awful lot 
of gain is made as well as loss. 

Glaser: Oh yes. 

Swig: I've seen a lot of converted Jewish people who become more Jewish 
than the people to whom they are married and actually are very 
devoted. 

I'll give you an example of a young lady who took Jewish 
studies at USF. She went to Israel as a result of programs that 
we've established. She came back and converted to Judaism. She 
said, "My Catholicism really didn't do the thing for me that 
Judaism does. I just felt I wanted to do that." I happened to be 
very fond of this young lady. She moved to New York and went to 
work when she got there for a Jewish organization. Subsequently 
she moved to New Jersey. I just heard the other day she is 
marrying a Jewish guy. I don't know what she's doing right this 
moment or who the guy is, but that is an interesting story. The 
Jewish courses that she took, her interest in Judaism, and her 
study of Judaism versus Catholicism was a satisfying experience 
for her. 



Swig: It made her feel that she wanted to be a Jew. The point of it is 
that Judaism does have strength and can hold people and should 
hold people and will hold people. Those who don't like Judaism 
will assimilate, I suppose. But that's been true for a long, long 
time. We've lost a lot of Jewish people by assimilation and will 
continue to. But when we talk about other religions, other 
religions lose their people too. Catholics go to other religions, 
Protestants go to different religions, Protestants become 
Catholics, Catholics become Protestants, some of them become Jews. 
They switch around. And people take no religion or want no 
religion. But that's been going on for a lot of years, I'm sure. 
So I don't see why we should get overly cut up and act worried 
about how we're going to lose Judaism. I don't think we will. 



168 



The Federation 



Glaser 
Swig: 
Glaser: 
Swig: 



Are there any changes that you would like to see in the 
Federation? 



Glaser 

Swig: 

Glaser: 

Swig: 



Nothing special. I think they are doing a good job. 
are working in the right direction. 



I think they 



Should non-Jews be solicited for funds for Federation institutions 
and agencies, like the Centers and the hospitals? 

Yes. I think we should. I don't think we are going to get very 
far because I find that even in the Episcopal Church, for 
instance, when you go out and search money for their church from 
other than Episcopals, it's not forthcoming very much. So the 
Jews have no different problem in that regard than do the 
Episcopals. Jews tend to be a little more liberal in giving to 
non- Jewish things, religiously non- Jewish things, than do other 
people. But I think that is part and parcel of their station in 
life, if you will, and the impressions that they felt. It's a 
Tzedakah. which Jewish people feel more than most people. 

And you feel that toward the greater community as well. 
Also, yes. 

What suggestions would you make to a newcomer who wishes to become 
involved in the Jewish community and in the greater community. I 
ask you that because obviously you went through that yourself. 

Well, only to a relatively minor extent, but the first thing I did 
was to work for the Federation. It was not called that then. I 
got involved and I just went through all the chairs and worked my 
way through it and made a lot of wonderful friends. It's a part 
of growth and development, and I think I would recommend that to 
anybody, to become involved in the Federation. 

One of my first activities was through an agency, the Jewish 
Family Service Agency, and it was one of those that I worked with. 
Out of it grows the growth and development of young people. So I 
think that being a part of charitable affairs and civic events and 
so forth is part of growth. People coming to this community who 
want to meet people and be a part of the community and have a good 
feeling about civic and social and charitable life must do those 
things in order to become a part of it. 



Glaser: That was my last question. 



169 



TAPE GUIDE- -Melvin Swig 



Interview 1, July 9, 1991 
Tape 1, side A 
Tape 1, side B 
Tape 2, side A 
Tape 2, side B 

Interview 2, July 30, 1991 
Tape 3, side A 
Tape 3, side B 
Tape 4, side A 
Tape 4, side B 

Interview 3, September 12, 1991 
Tape 5, side A 
Tape 5, side B 
Tape 6, side A 
Tape 6, side B 

Interview 4, October 30, 1991 
Tape 7, side A 
Tape 7, side B 
Tape 8, side A 
Tape 8, side B 

Interview 5, November 21, 1991 
Tape 9, side A 
Tape 9, side B 
Tape 10, side A 
Tape 10, side B 




26 

38 

49 

not recorded 



54 

66 

79 

not recorded 



90 
100 
113 
124 



129 
142 
154 
167 



170 



APPENDICES --Melvin M. Swig 

A. Report of the President presented at the annual meeting of the 172 
Jewish Community Federation, 1971. 

B. Report of the President presented at the annual meeting of the 181 
Jewish Community Federation, 1972. 

C. Remarks made by Melvin M. Swig at the annual meeting of the 189 
Young Adults' Division, December 5, 1972. 

D. 1973 Standing Committees, Jewish Community Federation. 194 

E. Jewish Community Federation Committees, 1986. 195 

F. Members, Ad Hoc Committee on "Who is a Jew," 1988. 204 

G. Endowment Committee, Jewish Community Federation, 1989. 205 
H. Executive Search Committee, Jewish Community Federation, 1990. 206 
I. Endowment Committee, Jewish Community Federation, 1990. 207 

J. "Mel Swig Heads Bulletin," San Francisco Jewish Bulletin. 208 
December 8, 1978. 

K. "Jewish leader becomes S.F. Catholic university chairman," 209 
Northern California Jewish Bulletin. July 26, 1985. 

L. "Swig gets award for endowment work," Northern California 210 
Jewish Bulletin. January 24, 1986. 

M. "Settlement Reached On Koret Foundation," San Francisco 211 
Chronicle. June 24, 1986. 

N. "The Swigs Build a Bigger Empire," San Francisco Chronicle. 212 
September 8, 1986. 

0. "Family of S.F. philanthropists get community's thanks," 216 
Northern California Jewish Bulletin. October 31, 1986. 

P. Dinner honoring the Swig-Dinner family, November 9, 1986. 217 

Q. Remarks made by Melvin M. Swig before the Anti Defamation 218 
League, June 11, 1987. 



171 



R. "USF president Melvin M. Swig honored at testimonial," 221 

Northern California Jewish Bulletin. July 31, 1987. 

S. Honorary degree, Brown University, 1989. 222 

T. The Presiding Bishop's Committee on Christian-Jewish Relations, 223 
July 29, 1991. 



172 

Appendix A 

ANNUAL REPORT 1971 



. 

^ 



1971 HAS BEEN ONE OF THE MOST UNUSUAL YEARS WE HAVE EXPERIENCED IN THE 
HISTORY OF THE FEDERATION. FIRST AND FOREMOST, WE RAISED THE LARGEST SUM 



IN HISTORY, SIX MILLION DOLLARS. TO ME THIS PROVES THE FAITH AND COMMIT- 
A 

MENT OF OUR FEDERATION'S JEWS TOWARDS ISRAEL'S SURVIVAL AND THE MANY LOCAL 
AND NATIONAL INSTITUTIONS WHICH WE SERVE. 

I WILL MENTION ONLY A FEW OF THE WONDERFUL PEOPLE WHO MADE THIS CAMPAIGN 
THE SUCCESS THAT IT WAS: OUR CHAIRMAN, JERRY BRAUN, HAD THE IMAGINATION 
AND THE DRIVE TO OVERCOME THE OBSTACLES OF APATHY, INDIFFERENCE AND BAD 
ECONOMIC CLIMATE. HIS DEDICATION WAS INSPIRATIONAL. HIS CO-CHAIRMEN, 

Ms 

FRANNIE GREEN AND HENRY BERMAN* DIVISION LEADERS, JAY FRIEDMAN, LARRY MYERS 

A 

AND PHYLLIS GINSBERG AND ALL THE OTHER HARD WORKING PEOPLE THAT TIME DOES 
NOT PERMIT MENTIONING, WORKED TIRELESSLY IN AN ALMOST SUPERHUMAN EFFORT,. 
GETTING EVERY CARD COVERED ACCORDING TO EACH PERSON'S ABILITY TO GIVE. 

WE OWE A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF THANKS TO THOSE OF OUR CONTRIBUTORS WHO, 
WHEN THE CAMPAIGN NEEDED THEM MOST, WHO, WHEN THEY HEARD OUR STORY, WHO, 
WHEN THEY REALIZED ISRAEL'S SURVIVAL WAS AT STAKE, WHO, WHEN THEY UNDER 
STOOD THE ENORMITY OF OUR RESPONSIBILITIES, CAME THROUGH WITH TREMENDOUS 
INCREASES FROM THE VERY TOP TO THE VERY BOTTOM OF THE LIST. THIS WAS A 
CAMPAIGN WHERE ALL JEWS WHO WERE WILLING TO ADMIT OPENLY THAT THEY WERE 
JEWS OF CONSCIENCE, GAVE LIKE THEY NEVER GAVE BEFORE AND WORKED LIKE THEY 
NEVER WORKED BEFORE, ALL FOR THE ONE COMMON AND WONDERFUL CAUSE. 

THIS YEAR ALSO SAW US TAKE A SEVERE CUT IN THE APPROPRIATION FROM UBAC. 
IT WASN'T AN ISSUE OF WHETHER OUR AGENCY NEEDED MORE OR LESS; OUR NEEDS 
WERE MORE, "WE UBAC RAISED MORE, BUT UBAC WAS CHANGING AND ITS "NEW 
DIRECTIONS" WAS TO BE THEIR SIGN OF THE FUTURE. OUR AGENCIES, LIKE THE 



173 
2. 

HOMEWOOD TERRACE, THE CENTERS *) HOME FOR THE AGED^AND THE FAMILY SERVICE 
AGENCY ALL TOOK THEIR PART OF THE LOSS. WE HOPE IT WON T HAPPEN AGAIN. WE 
HAVE BEEN TALKING TO THE LAY AND PROFESSIONAL LEADERSHIP OF UBAC, WE HAVE 
BEEN PARTNERS WI7N THEM SINCE 1923 AND HAVE ENJOYED A VERY FINE RELATION 
SHIP DURING ALL THESE YEARS. HOWEVER, WE HAVE SUGGESTED TO THEM HOW 
SERIOUSLY WE VIEW THEIR CHANGE IN DIRECTION. WE HAVE BEEN PROMISED A NEW 
BUDGETING APPROACH DURING THIS COMING YEAR. WE WILL HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE 
WHAT HAPPENS... BUT, IF THE CUTS CONTINUE WE WILL HAVE TO REAPPRAISE OUR 
POSITION. 

NOW LET'S LOOK AT SOME OF THE THINGS WE WERE ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH IN TERMS 
OF BUDGETING. A SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN HELPS US IN THIS REGARD: 

#1. WE WERE ABLE TO SEND OVER $^,500,000 OVERSEAS, COMPARED WITH A 
LITTLE OVER $3,000,000 IN 1970. AN INCREASE OF OVER 51%. 

#2. WE WERE ABLE TO INCREASE OUR ALLOCATION TO JEWISH EDUCATION FROM 
$116,000 TO $15**, 000. A 32 1 ^ INCREASE. WE WERE ABLE TO SEE, FOR THE FIRST 
TIME, A MARKED INCREASE IN THE ALLOCATION WHICH WENT TO THE TWO DAY SCHOOLS... 
$12,500 to $33,750. 

#3. WE WERE ABLE TO INCREASE OUR ALLOCATION TO THE JEWISH COMMUNITY 
RELATIONS COUNCIL FROM $9^,000 to $116,000. AN INCREASE OF ALMOST 23%. 
THIS ENABLED US TO EARMARK $12,500 BOR THE BAY AREA COUNCIL ON SOVIET JEWRY. 
THIS IN ADDITION TO THE INCREASED MONEY BEING SPENT BY JCRC IN THIS FIELD. 
THEREBY INCREASING SUBSTANTIALLY OUR COMMITMENT TOWARD THE PROGRAM OF HELP 
TO SOVIET JEWRY. 



174 
3. 

#k. WE WERE ABLE TO SHOW OUR CONCERN FOR COLLEGE YOUTH BY PUTTING 
INTO OUR BUDGET $12,000 FOR THE HILLEL PROGRAM AT SAN FRANCISCO STATE AND 
CITY COLLEGES. THROUGH ENDOWMENT FUNDS, WE GAVE SUPPORT TO THE STANFORD 
HILLEL JEWISH STUDIES PROGRAM. 

#5. WE WERE ABLE TO PUT THE FEDERATION CHAPLAINCY PROGRAM ON A 
PERMANENT BASIS BY AN ALLOCATION JOINED IN BY MOUNT ZION AND SEVERAL 
LOCAL FUNDS AND FOUNDATIONS. 

#6. WE WERE ABLE TO MAKE UP SOME OF THE UBAC CUTS SUFFERED BY OUR 
AGENCIES AND WE WERE ABLE TO TAKE CARE OF SOME OF THE INCREASED NEEDS OF 
THE CENTERS, THE HOME FOR THE AGED AND OTHERS OF OUR LOCAL AGENCIES. 

#7. NATIONALLY, WE INCREASED ALLOCATIONS TO THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION 

FOR JEWISH EDUCATION, AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE, AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESS, 

-*-, 

ANTI -DEFAMATION LEAGUE/ JEWISH WELFARE BOARD. WE WERE ABLE TO PROVIDE 

/I 

ADDITIONAL FUNDS FOR THE WHOLE JEWISH CULTURAL AGENCIES FIELD. 

DURING THE TERM OF MY PREDECESSOR, JOHN STEINHART, WE CHANGED THE METHOD OF 
BUDGETING AND SOCIAL PLANNING. IT WENT INTO EFFECT FOR THE FIRST TIME 
DURING THIS YEAR. I BELIEVE THE SYSTEM IS WORKING WELL AND WE WILL, OF 
COURSE, CONTINUE IT. I CANNOT BEGIN TO COUNT THE NUMBER OF HOURS THAT 
WENT INTO THIS WORK. THE MEETINGS HELD, THE BUDGETS REVIEWED, THE 
CONFERENCES HELD WITH AGENCIES. OUR COMMITTEE OF 100 PEOPLE WORKED TIRELESSLY 
DURING THIS YEAR AND OUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS, I THINK, SPEAK WELL FOR THEIR EFFORTS 



175 



OUR THANKS GO TO RENNIE COLVIN, CHAIRMAN, AND SAM LADAR, VICE CHAIRMAN 
AND THE 98 COMMITTEE MEN AND WOMEN. BUT, TO PARAPHRASE A POPULAR SONG, 
"THEIR WORK HAS ONLY JUST BEGUN". WE HAVE SOME SERIOUS PROBLEMS FACING 
US WITH REGARD TO THE PHYSICAL PLANTS OF MANY OF OUR INSTITUTIONS. WE 
HAVE POSTPONED, FOR MANY YEARS, THE CAPITAL FUNDS CAMPAIGN, BECAUSE OF 
WHAT WE FELT WERE THE MORE IMPORTANT REQUIREMENTS OF OUR OVERSEAS NEEDS. 
FOR EXAMPLE, THE JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER'S MAIN BUILDING IN SAN FRANCISCO 
HAS BEEN CRYING OUT FOR REPAIRS AND MODERNIZATION. THE CENTERS ON THE 
PENINSULA AND IN MARIN HAVE HAD TO DO WITH INADEQUATE SPACE, THE BROTHER 
HOOD WAY CENTER OVERFLOWED ALMOST FROM THE DAY IT OPENED. THE BUREAU OF 
JEWISH EDUCATION HAS POINTED OUT A GREAT NEED FOR MORE CLASSROOMS, OFFICE 
SPACE, LIBRARY, AND EQUIPMENT DESIGNED TO IMPROVE TEACHING SKILLS. MOUNT 
ZION HAS NEEDS THAT WOULD STAGGER THE IMAGINATION, THE JEWISH HOME FOR THE 
AGED PLEADS FOR MORE BEDS. THE SITUATION IN ISRAEL STILL REMAINS SERIOUS 
AND THE BUILDING NEEDS OF OUR INSTITUTIONS HAVE BECOME INCREASINGLY WORSE. 
I BELIEVE WE HAVE THE CAPACITY AND WILL TO DO BOTH JOBS ... TO RAISE THE 
SUM NECESSARY TO MEET OUR OVERSEAS NEEDS AND TO PROVIDE OUR LOCAL INSTITUTIONS 
WITH THE IMPROVEMENTS THEY NEED TO SURVIVE. 

I HAVE ASKED OUR PLANNING AND BUDGETING COMMITTEE TO GET THE FACTS AND 
FIGURES DEALING WITH THESE NEEDS AS SUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. A POPULATION 
STUDY FINANCED BY US WILL GIVE US UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION ABOUT WHERE OUR 
PEOPLE LIVE, WHERE THEY EXPECT TO LIVE, THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN TO BE PLANNED 
FOR, THE NUMBER OF AGED FOR WHOM PLANS MUST BE MADE. WE WILL HAVE SOME SORT 
OF ESTIMATE OF WHAT OUR NEEDS ARE, CONCERNING WHAT WE NOW PROVIDE AND WHAT 
WE SHOULD PROVIDE. AT THAT POINT, WHEN THE PLANNING L^DONE, WE WILL 
INITIATE A SUCCESSFUL CAPITAL FUNDS CAMPAIGN. 



176 

5. 

THE HISTORY OF OTHER COMMUNITIES PROVES TO ME CONCLUSIVELY THAT WE CAN HAVE 
A VERY SUCCESSFUL CAPITAL FUNDS CAMPAIGN AND, IN NO WAY, INTERFERE WITH OR 
JEOPARDIZE OUR REGULAR OR EMERGENCY CAMPAIGNS. 

THE JEWISH WELFARE FEDERATION, IN MY OPINION IS THE KEY CENTRAL JEWISH 
AGENCY IN THE COMMUNITY. IT TRANSCENDS ALL BRANCHES OF JEWISH LIFE. IN 
ORDER TO DO THE KIND OF FUND RAISING THAT IS NEEDED, BOTH HOME AND ABROAD, 
OUR FEDERATION MUST BE TUNED IN. IT MUST BE TUNED IN TO THE DESIRES OF ITS 
CONTRIBUTORS AND TO THE NEEDS OF THE COMMUNITY. FOR THAT REASON, YOUR 
FEDERATION SEEKS EVERY POSSIBLE MEANS TO BE CERTAIN THAT THE CONTRIBUTORS 
ARE WELL SATISFIED WITH THE WAY THEIR MONEY IS SPENT. THIS IS WHY WE 
DEVELOP SUCH ELABORATE MACHINERY TO STUDY THE PROGRAMS AND BUDGETS OF THE 
AGENCIES WE SUPPORT. THIS IS WHY WE SEEK OUT EVERY AVAILABLE PIECE OF 
INFORMATION WE CAN FIND TO JUSTIFY NEW PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS TO EMBARK 
UPON. THIS IS WHY YOUR FEDERATION IS TRUSTED AND HAS THE ABILITY TO RAISE 
MONEY TO MEET THE NEEDS OF ITS MORE THAN 50 LOCAL, NATIONAL AND OVERSEAS 
AGENCIES WHICH NEED OUR HELP. 

DURING THE PAST YEAR, YOU HAVE READ AND HEARD A GREAT DEAL ABOUT JEWISH 
EDUCATION IN SAN FRANCISCO, PARTICULARLY WITH REGARD TO PRIVATE, 
INDEPENDENT JEWISH DAY SCHOOLS. THE CRITICISM HAS BEEN LOUD AND IT HAS 
BEEN CARRIED ON BY METHODS OF DIRECT CONFRONTATION, SUCH AS PICKETING 
THE FEDERATION, APPEARANCES AT MEETINGS OF JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS, AND 
CRITICISM IN THE PRESS, INCLUDING CRITICISM OF SPECIFICALLY NAMED OFFICERS 
OF THE FEDERATION, MYSELF BEING ONE OF THEM. IT CULMINATED FINALLY IN AN 
UNSUCCESSFUL EFFORT TO NOMINATE A SLATE OF PEOPLE WHO WOULD RUN FOR THE 
OFFICE OF DIRECTOR OF THE WELFARE FEDERATION IN OPPOSITION TO THOSE 
NOMINATED BY THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE OF THE FEDERATION. 



177 
6. 

YOU MAY WONDER WHY I SINGLE THIS OUT FOR MENTION IN MY ANNUAL REPORT. I 
00 SO BECAUSE I THINK THAT WHAT HAS HAPPENED COULD CAUSE DISTASTEFUL 
DISSENTION WITHIN THE JEWISH COMMUNITY, A BAD IMAGE OF THE JEWISH 
COMMUNITY IN THE EYES OF THE GENERAL COMMUNITY IF CONTINUED, AND I THINK 

IT'S ABOUT TIME THAT WE PUT THE SITUATION IN PROPER PERSPECTIVE. 

C 



I BELIEVE WE NOW HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DETERMINE THE APPTOiRiATE SIZE OF THE 
GROUP WHICH HAS BEEN SO CRITICAL OF THE FEDERATIONS SUPPORT OF JEWISH DAY 
SCHOOLS. AS I JUST STATED, AN EFFORT WAS MADE TO NOMINATE A SLATE OF 
PEOPLE TO RUN FOR DIRECTORS. IN THE PROCESS OF ATTEMPTING SUCH NOMINATIONS, 
IT WAS NECESSARY THAT A PETITION BE FILED AND THAT THE PETITION CONTAIN THE 
SIGNATURES OF NOT LESS THAN 250 QUALIFIED MEMBERS OF THE FEDERATION. THE 
PETITION WHICH WAS FILED, EVEN AFTER ADVERTISING FOR SIGNATURES IN A NEWS 
PAPER, CONTAINED ONLY 39k SIGNATURES, OF WHICH 8 WERE DUPLICATES AND OF 
WHICH LESS THAN 250 WERE QUALIFIED AS MEMBERS OF THE FEDERATION. BASED 
UPON THESE FIGURES, OUT OF A TOTAL JEWISH POPULATION OF THE AREA COVERED 



BY THE FEDERATION WHICH IS ESTIMATED AT 75,000, AND A FEDERATION MEMBERSHIP 

A 

OF APPROXIMATELY 10,000, PERCENTAGE-WISE, THE PETITION SHOWS THAT THIS GROUP 
REPRESENTS ONLY ONE-HALF OF 1% OF THE TOTAL JEWISH POPULATION IN THE AREA 
SERVED BY THE FEDERATION AND LESS THAN 2% OF THE MEMBERS OF THE FEDERATION. 

THE FEDERATION HAS MET WITH THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THIS GROUP AT SEVERAL 
LEVELS. THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE HAS HELD A MEETING WITH THIS GROUP AT 
THEIR REQUEST AND EACH OF YOUR OFFICERS HAS MET WITH THEIR REPRESENTATIVES 
ON ONE OR MORE OCCASIONS. THEY HAVE, THEREFORE, HAD AMPLE OPPORTUNITY 
TO EXPRESS THEIR VIEWPOINTS AND TO CONVINCE THE FEDERATION AND ITS LEADERSHIP 
OF THE VALIDITY OF THEIR DEMANDS. THEIR DEMAND IS SUBSTANTIALLY THAT THEIR 
SCHOOL BE HEAVILY SUBSIDIZED WITH FEDERATION FUNDS. HOWEVER, THEY MAKE IT 



178 
7. 

CLEAR THAT WHILE THE FEDERATION IS TO SUPPORT THEIR SCHOOL, IT IS TO HAVE 
NO VOICE IN THE SCHOOL PROGRAM, CURRICULUM OR ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS. 

JEWISH EDUCATION IS IMPORTANT AND SHOULD BE MADE AVAILABLE TO THOSE WHO 
WISH THE BENEFITS OF IT OR WISH THEIR CHILDREN TO HAVE A FORMAL JEWISH 
EDUCATION. BUT, IT MUST BE MADE AVAILABLE AS A PART OF THE ENTIRE 
JEWISH COMMUNITY ACTIVITY ON A PLANNED BASIS AND AS A PART OF OTHER 
FEDERATION PROGRAMS, IF FEDERATION FUNDS ARE TO BE USED FOR ITS SUPPORT. 
IT IS MY BELIEF THAT THIS GROUP OF CRITICS WITH THEIR CONFRONTATION 
TACTICS DO A DISSERVICE TO THE CAUSE OF JEWISH EDUCATION AND A GREAT 
DISSERVICE TO OUR JEWISH COMMUNITY GENERALLY. IT MUST BE STATED THAT, OF 
THE 10 PEOPLE WHO WERE PUT FORTH AS A POSSIBLE SLATE IN COMPETITION TO THE 
FEDERATION'S, 5 WERE NON-CONTRIBUTORS TO THE FEDERATION. IT IS A SAD 
COMMENTARY WHEN SO FEW PEOPLE, PARTICULARLY THOSE WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED 
PRACTICALLY NO TIME OR EFFORT TO OUR ORGANIZATION, WHO HAVE ONLY ONE CAUSE 
THAT INTERESTS THEM, GO OUT OF THEIR WAY TO CREATE AS MUCH CHAOS TO OUR 
FEDERATION AS THEY CAN. THIS ONLY INTERFERES WITH OUR IMPORTANT FUND- 
RAISING ATTEMPTS. WE HAVE IMPORTANT MONIES TO BE RAISED. WE MUST GET ON 
WITH OUR WORK. I HOPE THESE PEOPLE WILL JOIN US IN MAKING SURE THAT ALL OF 
OUR AGENCIES ARE SUPPORTED AND THAT WE DO EVERYTHING TO HELP OUR FELLOW 
JEWS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. WE WILL PLEDGE THAT WE WILL, IN TURN, STUDY THE 
NEEDS AND DO THE PLANNING NECESSARY TO DETERMINE OUR FUTURE POSITIONS ON 
JEWISH EDUCATION. 

BECAUSE I KNOW HOW IMPORTANT THE MATTER OF SOVIET JEWRY IS TO ALL OF US, 
I WANT TO DISCUSS WITH YOU HOW DEEPLY THE FEDERATION IS INVOLVED IN THIS 
MATTER AROUND THE WORLD. EARLIER I TOLD YOU WHAT WE ARE DOING ON THE 
LOCAL SCENE, NOW I WANT TO GO DEEPER INTO THIS MATTER. 



( 179 

8. 

MUCH HAS BEEN SAID IN OUR COUNTRY THIS PAST YEAR ABOUT HOW BEST TO HELP 
SOVIET JEWS WHO WANT TO BE~REUNITED WITH THEIR PEOPLE IN ISRAEL OR WITH 
FAMILIES IN THIS COUNTRY. 

IT IS IMPORTANT TO LOOK AT THIS ISSUE IN ITS ENTIRETY. ONE PART OF THE 
PROBLEM IS TO AROUSE THE OPINION OF THE WORLD TO THE PLIGHT OF THE SOVIET 
JEWS IN THE HOPE THAT THE SOVIET GOVERNMENT WILL RESPOND TO AN AROUSED 
WORLD OPINION AND PERMIT JEWS TO LEAVE. TO THIS END, FEDERATION HELPS 
SUPPORT LOCAL PROGRAMS LIKE THE JCRC AND THE BAY AREA COUNCIL ON SOVIET 
JEWRY. NATIONALLY, WE SUPPORT THE NCRAC, THE AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE, 
THE AMERICAN CONFERENCE ON SOVIET JEWRY AND SIMILAR ORGANIZATIONS WHICH, 
NATIONALLY, WORK TO AROUSE THE OPINION OF THW WORLD TO THE CONDITIONS 
OF SOVIET JEWRY. IT'S ALSO A FACT THAT MANY INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF THESE 
ORGANIZATIONS HAVE DONE MUCH BEHIND THE SCENES WORK IN HIGH POLITICAL PLACES 
OF THESE EFFORTS COMBINED HAVE ALREADY CREATED A CLIMATE MAKING IT POSSIBLE FOR 
THOUSANDS OF JEWS TO LEAVE RUSSIA. 

THIS IS ONLY A PART OF THE STORY. WHAT LIES HIDDEN BENEATH THE SURFACE IS 
EVEN A MORE DRAMATIC STORY. THOUSANDS OF SOVIET JEWS ARE NOW COMING TO 
ISRAEL. A STORY IN THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE LAST WEEK SPOKE OF TWO 
PLANE LOADS ARRIVING EVERY DAY. THE COST OF THIS RESCUE EFFORT IS ALMOST 
INCALCULABLE. IT IS ESTIMATED THAT IT COSTS ABOUT $35,000 TO RELOCATE A 
FAMILY OF FOUR. MULTIPLY THIS BY THE THOUSANDS INVOLVED AND YOU GET AN 
IDEA OF THE ENORMOUS AMOUNTS OF MONEY REQUIRED. THE DETAILS OF HOW THE 
SOVIET JEWS ARE BEING RESCUED CANNOT BE REVEALED IN FULL, PUBLICLY. WHAT 
IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW IS THAT THE RESCUE IS MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH THE FUNDS 
WHICH ARE RAISED BY THIS FEDERATION AND SIMILAR FEDERATIONS THROUGHOUT THE 
COUNTRY. 



180 



9. 

I COULD NOT CLOSE THIS REPORT WITHOUT EXPRESSING OUR DEEPEST THANKS TO OUR 
GREAT STAFF, HEADED BY OUR EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, LOU WEINTRAUB AND HIS 
ASSISTANT, MURRAY SHIFF. THE HOURS OF WORK AND THE LOVE AND DEVOTION TO 
THEIR JOB, MUST NOT GO WITHOUT OUR DEEPEST FEELING OF APPRECIATION AND 
THANKS TO ALL OF THEM. I WANT THEM TO KNOW THEIR WORK IS APPRECIATED. 

IN CLOSING LET ME ONCE MORE THANK JERRY BRAUN FOR HIS GREAT SUCCESS IN 
THE > CAMPAIGN AND WISH OUR FIRST LADY CHAIRMAN OF THE CAMPAIGN EVER, 
FRANNIE GREEN, OUR BEST WISHES FOR THE HUGE SUCCESS I KNOW 1972 WILL BE. 



V,- 

181 

RFPQRT OF TUF PRESIDENT Appendix B 

To BE PRESENTED AT THE 
FEDERATION'S ANNUAL MEETING 
DECEMBER 12. 1972 - 12:00 NOON 
GOLD ROOM - FAIRMONT HOTEL 



LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WELCOME TO OUR ANNUAL MEETING, I 

A 

APPRECIATE VERY MUCH YOUR ATTENDANCE HERE TODAY, 



I WOULD LIKE AT THE OUTSET TO REVIEW WITH YOU WHAT HAPPENED 
DURING THIS YEAR, GENERALLY, IT HAS BEEN A VERY SATISFYING YEAR, 
OUR 1972 CAMPAIGN PRODUCED THE LARGEST AMOUNT OF MONEY IN OUR 
HISTORY, SOME EXTREMELY IMPORTANT PROJECTS CAME OFF OUR PLANNING 
BOARD AND WE BEGAN MAKING PLANS FOR WHAT APPEARS TO BE THE BUSIEST 
YEAR WE HAVE EVER HAD TO FACE, 

NOW, LET'S TALK ABOUT THIS YEAR'S CAMPAIGN, WE HAD A FIRST 
THIS YEAR BY HAVING OUR CAMPAIGN HEADED BY A WONDERFUL WOMAN, 
FRANNIE GREEN, THE RESULTS WERE GOOD, WE RAISED THE LARGEST AMOUNT 
EVER, ALMOST $6,600,000, NATURALLY, THE CAMPAIGN WAS NOT ENTIRELY 
FRANNIE GREEN, BUT SHE SURE WAS A LARGE PART OF IT, 

STRONG ASSISTS WERE GIVEN HER BY HENRY BERMAN AND LARRY MYERS 
AS VICE-CHAIRMEN, HANK KAUFMAN AND DOUGLAS HELLER, ADVANCE DIVISION 
CHAIRMEN, AND LLOYD SANKOWICH, THE B&P CHAIRMAN AND BY MRS, 
ANNETTE DOBBS, THE WOMEN'S DIVISION CHAIRMAN, KEN COLVIN, DONALD SEILER, 
RABBI TEITELBAUM, MARTY CARR AND RICHARD ROSENBERG AS DIVISION CHAIRMEN 
AND GEORGE EDELSTEIN AS TELETHON CHAIRMAN, 



-2- 

182 

I COULD MENTION MANY MANY MORE NAMES BUT TIME DOES NOT PERMIT IT, 
SUFFICE TO SAY WE WANT TO THANK ALL THOSE WONDERFUL PEOPLE FOR 
WORKING SO HARD AND CONTRIBUTING SO MUCH, 

DURING THIS PAST YEAR, OUR CAMPAIGN LEADERS AND TOP DONORS MET 
THE TRUE TEST OF DEDICATION AND GENEROSITY, CONSEQUENTLY, THIS 
COMMUNITY AND FRANNIE GREEN HAD A CAMPAIGN WHICH WAS ONE OF THE 
VERY BEST IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY, WE THANK ALL OF YOU AGAIN FOR 
MAKING THIS POSSIBLE, 

WITH REGARD TO OUR LOCAL PROJECTS, ONE WOULD THINK, WITH OVER 
$600,000 MORE TO SPEND THAN THE PRECEDING YEAR,THAT OUR SOCIAL 
PLANNING AND BUDGETING COMMITTEE WOULD HAVE A RELATIVELY EASY TIME, 
SOME THINGS, OF COURSE, WERE EASY BUT MUCH STUDY TOOK PLACE, OUR 
AGENCIES HAD SUBSTANTIALLY INCREASED NEEDS, SO MUCH SO, THAT ONLY 
PART OF THE NEEDS WERE MET, WE HOPE THAT WITH THIS YEAR'S CAMPAIGN 
WE WILL BE ABLE TO DO EVEN BETTER IN MEETING THOSE NEEDS, WE DID, 
HOWEVER, INITIATE SEVEN NEW PROGRAMS OF FUNDING FOR THE FIRST TIME: 

(1) BAY AREA JEWISH YOUTH COUNCIL 

(2) HILLEL PROGRAM AT STANFORD 

(3) HILLEL FOUNDATION AT BERKELEY 

(4) NORTH AMERICAN JEWISH STUDENTS APPEAL 

(5) NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SOVIET JEWRY 




-3- 183 

FOR THE FIRST TIME, THE TWO LARGEST LOCAL ALLOCATIONS WENT 
TO LOCAL PROGRAMS WITH DISTINCTIVELY RECOGNIZABLE JEWISH CONTENT, 
THE JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTERS AND THE BUREAU OF JEWISH EDUCATION, 
SUPPORT OF TWO DAY SCHOOLS INCREASED FROM $32,000 TO $52,000, 
FURTHERMORE, OUR SUPPORT OF SOVIET JEWRY THIS PAST YEAR INCREASED 
CONSIDERABLY, WE ARE NOT ONLY TAKING CARE OF OUR LOCAL NEEDS IN 
REGARD TO SOVIET JEWRY BUT SUPPORT MANY NATIONAL AGENCIES WHO HAVE 
MANY WORTH WHILE PROGRAMS BOTH HERE AND OVERSEAS, 

WE OWE A GREAT DEBT OF GRATITUDE TO REYNOLD COLVIN AND SAM LADAR, 
WHO HEAD UP OUR SOCIAL PLANNING AND BUDGETING COMMITTEE TOGETHER 
WITH ONE HUNDRED PEOPLE ON THAT COMMITTEE WHO WORKED DILIGENTLY AND 
WELL TO 'BALANCE OUR BUDGET WITH THE AMOUNT OF FUNDS AVAILABLE, AT 

i. L 

THE SAME TIME, MEETING THE DESIRES OF THE CONTRIBUTORS AND THE NEEDS 
OF A CHANGING COMMUNITY, 

SPEAKING OF A CHANGING COMMUNITY, WE WOULD LIKE TO BELIEVE THAT 
WE ARE IN TUNE WITH THE NEEDS FOR CHANGE, FOR EXAMPLE, WE NOW HAVE 
A COMMUNITY SHALIACH, HE IS AN EMISSARY FROM ISRAEL, AND MEETS 
WITH GROUPS YOUNG AND OLD, BUT PRINCIPALLY YOUNG, THROUGHOUT THE 
BAY AREA, HE ENCOURAGES VISITS TO ISRAEL AND INTERPRETS ISRAELI 
AND AMERICAN JEWISH RELATIONSHIPS, 



-Zj- 184 

FURTHERMORE, WE INTRODUCED TWO YEARS AGO A PROGRAM TO HELP 
HIGH SCHOOL YOUTH TO STUDY ISRAEL AND THE ISRAELIS, WE ALSO 
FINANCE SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS SO THAT RELIGIOUS SCHOOL CONFIRMANTS 
CAN SPEND SEVEN WEEKS A YEAR IN ISRAEL UNDER TRAINED SUPERVISORS, 
IT HAS BEEN A MOST REMARKABLE EXPERIENCE FOR EVERYONE, 

WE HAVE UNDERTAKEN A STATE LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM IN CONCERT WITH 
THE SEVEN LARGEST COMMUNITIES IN CALIFORNIA, IN THIS MANNER, WE 
ARE ABLE TO GET INFORMATION WITH REGARD TO OUR STATE LEGISLATURE 
ABOUT THOSE MATTERS WHICH AFFECT JEWISH HEALTH AND WELFARE PROGRAMS, 
OR THREATS TO CHURCH-STATE SEPARATION AND OTHER MATTERS PERTINENT 
TO JEWISH PEOPLE, 

OUR CHAPLAINCY PROGRAM IS NOW WELL ESTABLISHED AND RABBI OLES, 
FEDERATION CHAPLAIN, HAS BEEN DOING A FINE JOB IN OUR COMMUNITY, 
HIS HEADQUARTERS ARE AT MOUNT ZION HOSPITAL, 




GROUNDS OF THE JEWISH HOME FOR THE AGED AND HAS TAKEN CARE OF AGED 
PEOPLE WHO ARE OF GOOD HEALTH, THE EXPERIMENT HAS BEEN COMPLETED 
AND PINECREST HAS BEEN DONATED TO THE JEWISH HOME FOR THE AGED, WHO 
WILL CONTINUE TO RUN PINECREST ALONG THE SAME LINES AS DID THE 
FEDERATION, WE WISH TO THANK ALL THOSE PEOPLE WHO MADE THIS POSSIBLE, 



-5- 

185 

FOR SOME TIME NOW, WE HAVE BEEN CONCERNED ABOUT THE INCREASING 
NUMBER OF JOB REQUESTS DUE TO INCREASED UNEMPLOYMENT AMONG JEWS, 
THERE ARE MANY HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS, COLLEGE STUDENTS AND COLLEGE 
GRADUATES WHO NEED VOCATIONAL COUNSELING IN ORDER TO DETERMINE 
CAREERS AND FIND JOBS, MANY OTHER PEOPLE IN ADDITION, SOME HANDICAPPED, 
NEED THIS KIND OF TRAINING, AFTER CAREFUL STUDY, YOUR FEDERATION 
DECIDED TO SET UP"A JEWISH VOCATIONAL AND EMPLOYMENT COUNSELING SERVICE 
ON A TWO-YEAR EXPERIMENTAL BASIS, AT THIS MOMENT, THE BOARD OF 
DIRECTORS IS BEING CREATED AND A SKILLED TECHNICIAN IS BEING SOUGHT 
TO HEAD UP A SMALL PROFESSIONAL STAFF, WE HAVE GREAT HOPES FOR 
THIS PROGRAM AND YOU WILL BE HEARING MORE OF IT, 

THERE ARE TWO NATIONAL MATTERS THAT SHOULD BE BROUGHT TO YOUR 
ATTENTION, ONE IS THE FLOOD LAST SUMMER IN WILKES BARRE, PENNSYLVANIA, 
WHICH ALMOST WIPED OUT THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY, FOURTEEN HUNDRED OF 
THE 1,600 JEWISH FAMILIES IN THAT CITY HAD HOMES WHICH WERE BADLY 
DAMAGED OR COMPLETELY DESTROYED, THIS APPLIED TO ALMOST ALL OF THE 
JEWISH BUSINESSES, THE RED CROSS DID HELP, AS DID THE FEDERAL 
GOVERNMENT, BUT THE NEED FOR PROVIDING ASSISTANCE WAS IMPERATIVE, 
AS A RESULT, THE NATIONAL JEWISH COMMUNITY, THROUGH THE COUNCIL OF 
JEWISH FEDERATIONS AND WELFARE FUNDS, PROVIDED $2,000,000 WORTH OF 
EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE FOR INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES AND WE OF THIS 
FEDERATION, OF COURSE, ARE PROUD TO HAVE MET OUR SHARE WITH A 
CONTRIBUTION OF $50,000, 



186 

-6- 



THE OTHER NATIONAL MATTER RELATES TO JEWISH IDENTITY, 
PARTICULARLY AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE, THROUGH THE COUNCIL OF JEWISH 
FEDERATIONS AND WELFARE FUNDS, A THREE-YEAR EXPERIMENTAL PROJECT 
HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED TO ADDRESS ITSELF TO THE FULL RANGE OF PROBLEMS 
IN JEWISH LIFE, WITH EMPHASIS IN THE LOCAL COMMUNITIES WHERE JEWISH 
LIFE IS LIVED, YOUR FEDERATION HAS PROVIDED ITS SHARE IN THIS 
EXPERIMENTAL PROJECT, 

NOW, LET'S LOOK AHEAD, WHAT ABOUT THE FUTURE? 

1973 IS ISRAEL'S 25TH ANNIVERSARY, MANY EVENTS ARE BEING 
PLANNED BOTH HERE AND OVERSEAS, WE RESOLVE ALWAYS TO KEEP ISRAEL 
STRONG AND WE HAVE SET UP WHAT WE FEEL IS AN EXTREMELY CAPABLE TEAM 
FOR OUR ANNUAL CAMPAIGN, HENRY BERMAN IS THE CHAIRMAN OF THAT 
FUND-RAISING TEAM, HE HAS ALREADY BEEN HARD AT WORK ORGANIZING A 
GREAT CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE, I KNOW THAT UNDER HIS LEADERSHIP WE WILL 
MAKE GREAT STRIDES FORWARD, HENRY, STAND UP, HE HAS THREE 
EXTREMELY COMPETENT VICE-CHAIRMEN, DOUGLAS HELLER, LARRY MYERS AND 
LLOYD SANKOWICH, IT IS A MAJOR RESPONSIBILITY AND A LARGE CHALLENGE 
TO ULTIMATELY REACH HEIGHTS NEVER BEFORE ATTAINED, I BELIEVE WE CAN 
DO IT AND I KNOW THE LEADERSHIP WILL DO ALL THEY CAN TO SEE THAT IT 
IS DONE, JUST TO INDICATE HOW SUCCESSFUL WE HAVE BEEN TO DATE, WE HAVE 
ALREADY RAISED $2.800.000. WHICH IS APPROXIMATELY 43% OF THE MONEY RAISED 
LAST YEAR, I BELIEVE THIS IS THE EARLIEST PERIOD IN WHICH WE HAVE RAISED 
THIS AMOUNT OF MONEY IN THE HISTORY OF THE FEDERATION, 



187 

IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT OUR CAMPAIGN STARTS AND ENDS 
AT AN EARLIER DATE THAN EVER BEFORE, BECAUSE 1973 IS ALSO GOING TO 
BE THE YEAR FOR OUR CAPITAL FUNDS CAMPAIGN, IT HAS BEEN 13 YEARS 
SINCE WE HAVE RAISED ANY MONEY FOR OUR LOCAL INSTITUTIONS FOR 
CAPITAL NEEDS, OUR JEWISH CENTER BUILDING ON CALIFORNIA STREET 
CRIES OUT FOR MAJOR RECONDITIONING, OUR OTHER CENTERS ARE WOEFULLY 
INADEQUATE TO MEET TODAY'S NEEDS, THE NEW WING OF THE JEWISH HOME 
FOR THE AGED WAS BUILT WITH BORROWED MONEY, AND NEEDS ARE GROWING 
EVEN MORE, JEWISH EDUCATION NEEDS SPACE IN WHICH TO LIVE AND GROW, 
THEIR FACILITIES ARE NOT IN KEEPING WITH TODAY'S NEEDS, MOUNT ZION 
HAS BUILDING NEEDS OF IMMENSE PROPORTION, 

; SAN FRANCISCO IS PRACTICALLY THE ONLY MAJOR CITY IN THIS COUNTRY 
THAT HAS NOT HAD A CAPITAL FUNDS CAMPAIGN DURING THIS 13-YEAR PERIOD, 
MANY CITIES HAVE HAD MORE THAN ONE, I BELIEVE, AND HAVE EVERY 
CONFIDENCE THAT WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO BE SUCCESSFUL BOTH IN OUR 
ANNUAL CAMPAIGN AND MEETING OUR BUILDING FUND NEEDS, I KNOW WE ARE 
GOING TO DO IT, 

NOW ON A PERSONAL NOTE, MY WIFE AND I JUST A COUPLE OF MONTHS 
AGO WERE IN ISRAEL, WE WERE TREMENDOUSLY IMPRESSED WITH THE CONTINUING 
AND GROWING NEEDS OF THAT MARVELOUS COUNTRY; WE HAVE COME BACK WITH 
A FEELING THAT WE MUST CONTINUE TO WORK EVEN HARDER THAN IN THE PAST 
TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT WE RAISE THE AMOUNT OF MONIES NEEDED TO CARRY 
ON THE PROGRAMS WITH WHICH YOU ARE SO FAMILIAR, 



-8- 188 

FORTUNATELY, WE DON'T HAVE THE EMOTION OF WAR TO STIR US, 
BUT WE HAVE THE EMOTION OF BROTHERHOOD AND RECOGNITION OF A 
WONDERFUL PEOPLE WHO ARE SETTING MARVELOUS EXAMPLES OF COURAGE 
AND DEVOTION THAT I AM SURE WILL GO DOWN IN HISTORY AS ONE OF THE 
GREAT MOVEMENTS OF ALL TIME, 

AND NOW IN CLOSING, LET ME SAY THAT IT HAS BEEN A WONDERFUL 
TWO YEARS FOR ME WORKING AS YOUR PRESIDENT, I HAVE ENJOYED THE 
CLOSE ASSOCIATIONS WITH THE MARVELOUS PEOPLE WHO HAVE WORKED 
TOGETHER WITH ME FOR THE MOST WORTH WHILE CAUSE THAT I KNOW, 
IT COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MADE POSSIBLE WITHOUT THE HELP OF THE OFFICERS 
AND DIRECTORS OF THIS FINE ORGANIZATION AND OUR STAFF, 
LOU WEINTRAUB HAS BEEN A TREMENDOUS HELP TO ME, WE HAVE PARTIALLY 
RE-SHAPED OUR STAFF AND IMPROVED IT AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO, 
I THINK WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED MUCH DURING THESE PAST TWO YEARS AND 
I WANT TO THANK ALL OF YOU FOR MAKING IT POSSIBLE, 



C '.EMARKS OF KELVIN M. SWIG 
AT THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE 

YOUNG ADULTS 1 DIVISION Appendix C 

TUESDAY. DECEMBER 5. 1972 



I AM DELIGHTED TO BE WITH YOU TONIGHT AND TO BRING YOU GREETINGS 2 



FROM THE OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS OF THE JEWISH WELFARE FEDERATION, 

YOU ARE VERY MUCH ONE OF'OUR FAVORITE UNITS; YOU HAVE GIVEN US I 

"ADULTS" A SIZEABLE NUMBER OF GOOD LEADERS; YOU ARE A GREAT ASSET ! 

TO THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY, j 

4 

I SHOULD LIKE TO JOIN IN OFFERING CONGRATULATIONS TO YOUR 
OUTGOING PRESIDENT, STEVE COOK, AS WAS TO BE EXPECTED, THE YAD \ 
ATTAINED NEW HEIGHTS DURING HIS TERM OF OFFICE AND HE LEAVES BEHIND j 
HIM A SET OF REMARKABLE ACCOMPLISHMENTS, HIS IDEA OF HAVING YAD 
MEMBERS PARTICIPATE AS OBSERVERS IN MEETINGS OF THE BOARDS OF 
DIRECTORS OF FEDERATION AGENCIES IS A GREAT ONE AND IT IS MEETING 
WITH ENTHUSIASTIC ACCEPTANCE BY ALL OF THE AGENCIES INVOLVED, 

I CONGRATULATE ALSO YOUR INCOMING PRESIDENT, DAVID WEINER, 
WHO I UNDERSTAND IS A PROFESSOR OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION AT USF 
AND WHO WAS A VERY SUCCESSFUL CO-CHAIRMAN OF YOUR ANNUAL RETREAT, 

I WAS TOLD TO TALK BRIEFLY ABOUT THE FEDERATION, WHAT IT IS, 
HOW IT REACTS TO THE CHANGING NEEDS OF A CHANGING COMMUNITY AND 
HOW YOU, THE YAD, FIT IN, 

TO UNDERSTAND THE FEDERATION, YOU HAVE TO KNOW THAT IT DOES NOT 
OPFRATF IN A VACUUM, THAT IT ACTS ONLY TO MEET THE NEEDS OF OTHERS 
AND THAT IT WOULD CEASE TO EXIST IN THE EVENT THERE WERE NO NEEDS 
TO BE MET, 



-2- 190 



FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN OUR FEDERATION WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1910, ^ 
IT WAS ONLY BECAUSE THERE WERE ALREADY IN EXISTENCE A GROUP OF 
AGENCIES -- A HOSPITAL, SEVERAL FAMILY HELPING SOCIETIES, THE I 
PREDECESSOR TO HOMEWOOD TERRACE, ETC, - WHICH IN THE OPINION OF 
THE LEADERS NEEDED TO HAVE THEIR FUND-RAISING COORDINATED, SO THE J 
FEDERATION WAS FORMED, TO GO AFTER THE CONTRIBUTORS ONLY ONCE FOR A 
LARGE GIFT TO MEET THE DEFICITS OF A NUMBER OF LOCAL AGENCIES, 



IN 1925, WHEN IT BECAME OBVIOUS THAT OVERSEAS NEEDS REQUIRED 
A VEHICLE SIMILAR TO FEDERATION FOR LOCAL NEEDS, THE JEWISH NATIONAL 
WELFARE FUND WAS CREATED, THE TWO, FEDERATION AND WELFARE FUND, 
RAN PARALLEL UNTIL 1955 WHEN GOOD SENSE AS WELL AS THE TIME DEMANDS 
UPON LEADERS DICTATED A MERGER BETWEEN THE TWO INTO THE JEWISH 
WELFARE FEDERATION AS WE KNOW IT NOW, 

THIS FEDERATION, AS WELL AS THE FEDERATIONS OF THE MORE THAN 
250 SIMILAR FEDERATIONS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY, BASICALLY HAS A 
TRIO OF RESPONSIBILITIES, FUND-RAISING, BUDGETING, AND PLANNING. 
IN OUR FEDERATION, WE HAVE DEVELOPED TO A FAi .Y HIGH ORDER THESE 
THREE FUNCTIONS AND, EVEN THOUGH WE ARE NOT THE BEST OF THE LARGE 
CITIES IN OUR FUND-RAISING ACCOMPLISHMENTS, THE LAST TWO YEARS 
HAVE SEEN US RAPIDLY ECOME OF AGE, BUDGETING AND PLANNING HAVE 
BEEN COMBINED INTO A SINGLE OPERATION, MANAGED BY A COMMITTEE 
OF 100, AND EVEN THOUGH THERE ARE STILL SNAGS TO REMOVE, ON THE 
WHOLE I THINK WE DO A MOST CREDITABLE JOB, 



-3- 



*i 

IN FUND-RAISING, WE TRY TO DO AS THOROUGH A JOB AS POSSIBLE 3 

\> 

BUT I WOULD BE LESS THAN HONEST WITH YOU IF I DID NOT ADMIT THAT 
IT IS BASICALLY THE TOP GIVERS - THE SLIGHTLY OVER 700 INDIVIDUALS j 

4 

WHO CONTRIBUTE MORE THAN 80% OF WHAT WE RAISE - WHO CARRY THE BALL, 

| 
WE'VE GOT A LONG WAY TO GO TO BRING UP THE SIGHTS AND THE DOLLARS 

OF THE REST OF THE COMMUNITY, 

IN PLANNING, WE HAVE HAD NUMEROUS ACCOMPLISHMENTS, CLOSING J 

t 

AGENCIES WHEN THEIR PROGRAMS WERE NO LONGER NECESSARY (MAIMONIDES, 

j 
EMANU-EL RESIDENCE CLUB) AND CREATING AGENCIES WHEN THEY WERE j 

CONSIDERED ESSENTIAL (PINECREST, THE NEW JEWISH VOCATIONAL SERVICE, 

I 

CHAPLAINCY PROGRAM, ETC,), 

i 

THE KEY TO BUDGETING IS WHAT OUR BUDGETEERS ANTICIPATE THE 
WISHES OF THE DONORS TO BE, OBVIOUSLY, 100 PEOPLE CAN'T REALLY 
KNOW WHAT 14,000 PEOPLE WANT BUT THE 100 ARE SELECTED SO THAT THEY 
REPRESENT A GOOD CROSS-SECTION OF THE COMMUNITY AND, IF THEIR WORK 
TO DATE HAD NOT BASICALLY MET THE WISHES OF CONTRIBUTORS, THE RESULT 
WOULD HAVE SHOWED UP IN SUBSEQUENT FUND-RAISING CAMPAIGNS, 

OUR COMMUNITY HAS ALWAYS BEEN OVERSEAS ORIENTED, THAT IS WHY 
APPROXIMATELY 75% OF WHAT WE NOW RAISE GOES OVERSEAS AND, EVEN 
BEFORE THERE WAS AN ISRAEL EMERGENCY FUND, WE WERE GIVING MORE THAN 
50% OF WHAT WAS RAISED TO THE UNITED JEWISH APPEAL, AMONG THE 
CITIES WITH WHICH WE ARE COMPARED, WE ARE SECOND IN THE PERCENTAGE 
OF AMOUNT RAISED WHICH GOES OVERSEAS, 



192 

AMONG LOCAL AGENCIES, WE HAVE TRADITIONALLY BEEN HEALTH 
AND WELFARE ORIENTED UNTIL RECENT YEARS, LOOKING AT A LIST 
OF ALLOCATIONS MADE FOLLOWING CAMPAIGNS SEVERAL YEARS BACK, YOU 
WOULD HAVE NOTICED HEALTH AND WELFARE - JEWISH FAMILY SERVICE 
AGENCY, MOUNT ZION, ETC,, RECEIVING THE HIGHEST ALLOCATIONS, 
BUT A FEDERATION CAN SURVIVE ONLY IF IT IS RESPONSIVE TO CHANGING 
NEEDS, THUS, A LOOK AT THE ALLOCATIONS FOR THE 1972 CAMPAIGN 
SHOWS UNMISTAKABLY THAT THOSE AGENCIES WITH DISTINCTLY JEWISH 
CONTENT IDENTIFICATION ARE IN THE ASCENDENCY, 

THUS, THE JEWISH CENTERS AND THE BUREAU OF JEWISH EDUCATION 
ARE NO, 1 AND 2 RESPECTIVELY IN LOCAL ALLOCATIONS, MOUNT ZION 
IS NO, 3 - BECAUSE OF ITS FREE AND PART-PAY PROGRAM - AND THE 
JCRC IS NO, 4, BECAUSE OF ITS FOCUS ON SOVIET JEWRY AND THE 
MIDDLE EAST, NEW AGENCIES ACCEPTED DURING THE YEAR PROVIDE 
ADDITIONAL INSIGHT INTO THE TREND TOWARD MORE JEWISH ORIENTED 
PROGRAMS - BAY AREA JEWISH YOUNG COUNCIL, ISRAEL TOUR AND STUDY 
PROGRAM, NORTH AMERICAN JEWISH STUDENT'S APPEAL, NATIONAL CONFERENCE 
ON SOVIETY JEWRY, JUDAH L, MAGNES MEMORIAL MUSEUM, 

WE HAVE BEEN FORTUNATE IN THE KIND OF LEADERSHIP ATTRACTED TO 
THE FEDERATION SINCE 1910 BUT FINDING GOOD LEADERSHIP IS NOT EASY 
NOR ARE THEY NECESSARILY KNOWLEDGEABLE WHEN FOUND, THUS, WE AS 
WELL AS OTHER FEDERATIONS HAVE HAD INTERMITTANT LEADERSHIP TRAINING 
PROGRAMS WHERE A SELECTED GROUP OF POtTENTIAL "YOUNG LEADERS" ARE 
PUT THROUGH A SEVERAL MONTHS COURSE OF INFORMATION AND EDUCATION 



. 

-5- 193 i| 

4 

PLUS A PERIOD OF APPRENTICESHIP ON THE BOARDS OF OUR LOCAL 

AGENCIES, WE ARE LONG OVERDUE ON A NEW COURSE BUT HOPE TO START ] 

k 
ONE BEFORE LONG, | 

IT IS PARTICULARLY GRATIFYING TO THE FEDERATION THAT THERE 

' 

I 
EXISTS IN OUR MIDST THE YAD, TRAINING GROUND FOR THOSE OF fr 

f 
EXCEPTIONAL TALENTS AS WELL AS GOOD JEWISH MOTIVATION, YOU HAVE 

ALREADY GRADUATED INTO OUR "ADULT" RANKS SOME EXTREMELY COMPETENT 

r 

PEOPLE, I DON'T HAVE TO NAME THEM -- THEY SIT ON OUR BOARD AND 

OUR COMMITTEES AND YOU KNOW WHO THEY ARE AS WELL AS WE DO, j 

v 

WE WANT MORE OF THE SAME AND FROM THOSE SITTING HERE TONIGHT, * 

) 

AS WELL AS THE MANY OTHERS WHO FUNCTION WITH YOU THROUGHOUT THE 

YEAR, WE OF FEDERATION EXPECT GREAT THINGS IN THE WAY OF f 

r 

LEADERSHIP AND VITALITY FOR OUR FEDERATION, 

I WAS TOLD TO LEAVE TIME FOR QUESTIONS - AND SO I WILL CLOSE 

< 

BY EXPRESSING MY DEEP APPRECIATION FOR THE INVITATION TO BE WITH 

YOU TONIGHT AND SIMILAR DEEP APPRECIATION FOR THE EXCELLENT WORK 

i 

YOU ARE DOING, \ 

f 
I 



Jewish Welfare Federation 

220 Bush Street, Suite 645 

San Francisco, California 94104 



194 



Appendix D 



APPENDIX 

1973 STANDING COMMITTEES 
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 



Melvln M. Swig, Chairman 
'Jerome I . Braun 
Reynold H. Colvln 
Jesse Feldman 
-Mrs. William H. Green 
Walter A. Haas 
Douglas M. He I ler 

Myers 

Swig 



'Laurence E 
Benjamin H 



FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE 



Douglas M. Heller, Chairman 
Henry E. Berman, Vice Chairman 
Lloyd W. Dlnkelsplel, Jr. 
'Robert E. Slnton 
John H. Stelnhart 
Melvln M. Swig 



FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATIVE SUB-COMMITTEES 



Sub-Committee on Investments 

Mortimer Flelshhacker, Chairman 

Warren H. Berl 

Jack S. Euphrat 

Daniel E. Koshland 

Robert E. Slnton 

Carl W. Stern 

Retirement Committee 

Robert M. Lev I son, Chairman 

Abraham Bernstein, M.D. 

Paul Boas 

Lewis B. Levin 

Stuart Sei ler 

Jerome I. Welnsteln 

Louis Welntraub, Secretary 



FUND RAISING COMMITTEE 



Mrs. WllllamH. Green, Chairman 

Lloyd Sankowlch, Vice Chairman 

Karl Bach 

Henry E. Berman 

Abraham Bernstein, M.D. 

Jerome I . Braun 

Kenneth Colvln 

Mrs. Morrl s Cul Iner 

Mrs. Jay Darwin 

Lloyd W. Dlnkelsplel, Jr. 

Richard S. Dinner 

Mrs. Harold Dobbs 

George Edelsteln 

Nathan Jay Friedman 

Richard N. Goldman 

Peter E. Haas 

Douglas M. He I ler 

Seymour Hyman 



Haro Id J . Kaufman 
Jesse Levin 
"Wi I I lam J . Lowenberg 
Robert A. Lurie 
Mervin G. Morris 
Dr. Donald Newman 
Claude Rosenberg, Jr. 
Edward Schultz 
Donald H. Sel ler 
Peter F. Sloss 
Mrs. Richard Swig 
Mrs. Robert Taubrr.an 
Mrs, Marilyn Warshauer 
Melvin B. Wasserman 
David Weiner 
Bernara G. Werth 
Arthur B. Zimmerman 



195 

Appendix E 

JEWISH COMMUNITY FEDERATION COMMITTEES* 
(Some Committees are in Formation) 
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (as of 8/19/86) 
(Proposed officers nominated by Board Officers Nominating Committee a 

June 18, 1986.) No other slate was nominated. Elections will take 
place at the first board meeting after the annual meeting which was 
held June 17, 1986. 

Composition of the Executive Committee is mandated by the Federation 
Bylaws, Section IV, B. , 1. 



Chairman: 

Staff: 

Members: 



Guests 



Chairman: 
Vice Chairman 
Staff: 

Members : 



President, Laurence Myers 
Brian Lurie 



s Division 



Judith Chapman, President, Women 

Kenneth Colvin, Vice President 

Adele Corvin, Chairman, Capital Funds Committee 

Annette Dobbs , Chairman, Personnel Committee 

Rhoda Goldman, Chairman, Endowment Committee 

Barbara Isackson, Assistant Treasurer 

Geoffrey Kalmanson, Secretary 

Ron Kaufman, Immediate Past-President 

Dr. Donald Linker, Chairman, Fundraising Committee 

Dr. Donald Newman, Chairman, 1986 Campaign 

Raquel Newman, Vice President 

Claude Rosenberg, Chairman, Investment Committee 

Albert Schultz, Treasurer 

Donald Seiler, Vice President 

Stuart Seiler, Chairman, 1987 Campaign 

Roselyne Swig, Vice President 

Melvin Wasserman, Chairman, Planning & Budgeting 

Committee 
Ronald Wornick, Vice President 

Ronald Berman , Chairman, Communications Committee 
Richard Goldman, Chairman, Overseas Committee 
George Saxe, Chairman, Demographic Study Committee 

ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE 

Albert Schultz 

Annette Dobbs (Personnel) 

Nancy Hair 



Barbara Isackson 
Adriana Ryan 



Michael Podell (Building) 
Dr. Andrew Rosenblatt 
George Saxe 



Ex-Of f icio: 



Laurence Myers 



196 



Chairman: 
Vice Chairman 
Staff : 

Members: 



Ex-Of f icio 



BUILDING SUBCOMMITTEE 

Michael Podell 
Barbara Isackson 
Elle Hoffnagel 

Ron Kaufman 

William J. Lowenberg 

Donald Sweet 

Laurence Myers 



Chairman: 
Vice Chairman 
Staff: 

Members: 



Chairman: 
Vice Chairman 
Staff: 



BYLAWS COMMITTEE 

Samuel Ladar 
Jerome Braun 
Phyllis Cook 

William Coblentz 
Randy Dick 
Jesse Feldman 
Alvin Levitt 
Robert Sinton 
Sheldon Wolfe 

CAPITAL FUNDS COMMITTEE 

Adele Corvin 
Alvin Levitt 
Phyllis Cook 
David Bubis 
Gene Kaufman 



Members: 



James Abrahamson 
Frances Berger 
Judith Chapman 
Helene Cohen 
Kenneth Colvin 
Richard Dinner 
Kate Feinstein 
John Freidenrich 
John Goldman 
Frances Green 
Richard Green 
Peter Haas 
Ruthellen Harris 
Douglas Heller 
Donald Kahn 
Geoff Kalmanson 
Sonya Kaplan 



Ron Kaufman 
Harvey Koch 
Dr. Donald Linker 
Bernard Osher 
Michael Podell 
Robert Rubenstein 
George Saxe 
Donald Seiler 
Stuart Seiler 
Peter Sloss 
Donald Sweet 
Melvin Swig 
Marilyn Taubman 
Ronald Wornick 
Harold Zlot 
Allan Kaplan, Intern 



197 



Capital Fund 
Ex-Of f icio: 



Chairman 
Staff: 

Members: 



Intern: 



Chairman: 
Staff: 
Members : 



ommittee - continued 

Randall Dick 
Laurence Myers 
Sora Lei Newman 
Melvin Wasserman 

CASH COLLECTIONS SUBCOMMITTEE 

George Frankenstein 
Loren Basch/Seymour Kleid 

Annette Dobbs 
Betty Dreifuss 
Douglas Heller 
Dr. Donald Linker 
William J. Lowenberg 
Donald Seiler 
Roselyne Swig 
Sheldon Wolfe 

Susan Lowenberg 

COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE 

Ronald Herman 
Shelly Freisinger 
In Formation 



COMMUNITY PLANNING/AGENCY RELATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE 



Chairman : 
Staff: 



Michael Rubenstein 
Gene Kaufman 



Agencies 

Bureau of Jewish Education 
Jewish Community Relations 

Council 
Jewish Family & Children's 

Services 

Jewish Home for the Aged 
Jewish Vocational Service 
Menorah Park 
Mount Zion Hospital 
Northern California Jewish 

Bulletin 
United Jewish Community 

Centers 



Presidents 

James Sammet 
Tanette Goldberg 

Siesel Maibach 

Jim Joseph 

Max Bernstein 

Alan Rothenberg 

Peter Sloss 

Prof." Edwin Epstein 

Richard Green 



Executives 

Howard Gelberd 
Earl Raab 

Anita Friedman 

Jerry Levine 
Abby Snay 
Barbara Solomon 
Martin Diamond 
Marc Klein 

Mark Rubin 



Steering Committee (Local and National) 



Chairman: 
Vice Chairman: 
Staff: 



Mel Wasserman 
Randy Dick 
Gene Kaufman 



198 



Steering Committee (Local and National) - continued 



Community Relations 
Family, Health & Elderly 
Group Work and Campus 
Jewish Education 
National Agencies 
Project Renewal 



Dr. Joel Renbaum 
Michael Samson 
Alan Grossman 
Stewart Foreman 
Betty Dreifuss 
Alan Rothenberg 



JEWISH ELDERLY PROFESSIONAL SUBCOMMITTEE 
Chairman: Barbara Solomon 

Members: Professionals working in agencies dealing with 

Jewish Elderly and key lay representatives. 
In Formation. 



Chairman: 
Vice Chairman: 
Staff: 

Members: 



Chairman: 
Vice Chairman: 
Staff: 



CONFEDERATION SUBCOMMITTEE 
William J. Lowenberg 
Brian Lurie 

Adele Corvin 
Barbara Isackson 
Laurence Myers 
Stuart Seiler 

DEMOGRAPHIC STUDY SUBCOMMITTEE 

George Saxe 
Gerald Marcus 
Steven Haberfeld 
Gene Kaufman 



Members: 



Diane Cohen 
Randy Dick 
Stewart Foreman 
Ruthellen Harris 
Barbara Isackson 
Robert Levison 
Sandy Leib 
Robert Lipman 
Seymour Lipset 
Laurence Myers 



Earl Raab 
Myra Reinhard 
Michael Rubenstein 
Rabbi Peter Rubinstein 
Lynn Sedway 
Ruth Sporer 
Thaddeus Taube 
Marilyn Weisberg 
Anita Wornick 



Chairman: 
Vice Chairmen 



Staff: 



Members : 



199 
ENDOWMENT COMMITTEE 

Rhoda Goldman 

Peter Haas*, Development 

Donald Seiler, Allocations 



Phyllis Cook 
Deborah Bleicher 

James Abrahamson 
Rabbi M. Barenbaum 
John Blumlein 
Joseph Blumlein 
Harry Blumenthal 
Jerome Braun* 
Adele Corvin 
Ruth Debs 
Richard Dinner** 
Annette Dobbs** 
Jesse Feldman * 
Howard Friedman 
Hanna Fromm 
Frances Geballe** 
Richard Goldman* 
Frances Green* 
Morgan Gunst, Jr. 
Douglas Heller 



Ron Kaufman* 

Samuel Ladar* 

Robert Levison 

Alvin Levitt 

William J. Lowenberg 

Phyllis Moldaw 

Raquel Newman 

Bernard Osher 

George Saxe 

Albert Schultz 

William Russell-Shapiro 

Robert Sinton* 

John Steinhart* 

Melvin Swig 

L. Jay Tenenbaum 

Haskell Titchell 



Ex-Of f icio: 



Laurence Myers 
Claude Rosenberg 



Intern: Don Abramson 
*Federation Past Presidents 
**Reappointed for second three-year term. 

EVA HELLER KOHN SUBCOMMITTEE 

John Blumlein 

Deborah Bleicher 



Chairman: 
Vice Chairman: 
Staff: 



Goldie Cutler, National Council of Jewish Women 

George Saxe 

Carolene Marks, Hadassah 

William Lowenberg 



Ex-Off icio: 



Rhoda Goldman 



Chairman: 
Vice Chairman 
Staff: 

Members: 



Chairman : 
Vice Chairman 
Staff: 

Members: 



200 
FUNDRAISING COMMITTEE 



Dr. Donald Linker 
Sonya Kaplan 
Loren Basch 

Stuart Aronoff 
Ron Berman 
Dr. Jeffrey Carmel 
Judith Chapman 
Andrew Colvin 
Kenneth Colvin 
Randall Dick 
Annette Dobbs 
George Foos 
George Frankenstein 
Ruthellen Harris 
Jack Kadesh 
Susan Kolb 
Ron Kaufman 
Harvey Koch 
Arthkur Krulevitch 



Nadine Krulevitch 
Sandra Leib 
Laurence Myers 
Dr. Donald Newman 
Dr. Joel Renbaum 
Marc Rosenberg 
Dr. Andrew Rosenblatt 
Norman Rosenblatt 
Adriana Ryan 
Albert Schultz 
Donald Seiler 
Roselyne Swig 
Sanford Tandowsky 
Phyllis Wasserman 
Sheldon Wolfe 
Ronald Wornick 
Judy Zimmerman 



INSURANCE SUBCOMMITTEE 



Kenneth Colvin 
Nancy Hair 

Stuart Aronoff 
Joanne Backman 
Harry Cohn 
Dan Golden 
Richard Green 
Ruthellen Harris 
Douglas Heller 



Peggy Nathan 
Michael Rubenstein 
James Sammet 
George Saxe 
Paul Steiner 
Melvin Wassermar. 
Steve Zimmerman 



Ex-Of f icio: 



Albert Schultz 



INVESTMENT COMMITTEE 



Chairman : 
Vice Chairman 
Staff: 



Members : 



Claude Rosenberg 
Toby Rosenblatt 
Nancy Hair 
Phyllis Cook 

James Abrahamson 
Warren Berl 
Joseph Blumlein 
Jerome Debs 
Tully Friedman 
Daniel Golden 
Douglas Heller 



David Kavrell 
Peter Maier 
Maurice Mann 
William Rollnick 
Alan Rothenberg 
Robert Sinton 
Alan Stein 



201 



Investment Committee - continued 

Warren Hellman 
Alan Herzig 



Ex-Off icio: 



Rhoda Goldman 
Laurence Myers 
Albert Schultz 



Willi Weinstein 



Chairman: 
Vice Chairman: 
Staff: 

Members: 



NEW GIFTS SUBCOMMITTEE 



Sunny Kaplan 
Lynn Blankfort 
Karen Marcus 

Diane Cohen 
Annette Dobbs 
Victoria Rhine Dobbs 
Betty Dreifuss 
Mimi Gauss 
Hank Levitan 
William J. Lowenberg 



Nick Martin 

Dr. Barry Oberstein 

Bruce Raful 

Dr. Garry Rayant 

Robert Rubenstein 

Anita Wornick 



NOMINATING SUBCOMMITTEE 



Chairman : 
Vice Chairman 
Staff: 

Members: 



Chairman: 
Vice Chairmen 
Staff: 

Members: 



Jerome Braun 
Phyllis Cook 

Ron Berman 
Randall Dick 
George Foos 
Barbara Isackson 



Marge Kalmanson 
Michael Podell 
Steven Swig 



OVERSEAS COMMITTEE 



Richard Goldman 
Ron Kaufman 
Phyllis Cook 

Kenneth Colvin 
Randall Dick 
Jesse Feldman 
George Foos 
Claude Ganz 
Douglas Herst 
Alvin Levitt 
William Lowenberg 
Raquel Newman 



Dr. Andrew Rosenblatt 
Alan Rothenberg 
Rabbi Peter Rubinstein 
Robert Sinton 
Melvin Swig 
Roselyne Swig 
Sheldon Wolfe 
Anita Wornick 



Ex-Off icio 



Laurence Myers 
Melvin Wasserman 



202 



PERSONNEL COMMITTEE 



Chairman: 



Annette Dobbs 



Vice Chairman: Albert Schultz 
Staff: Loren Basch 

Members: Betty Dreifuss 

George Foos 
George Frankenstein 
Douglas Herst 
Barbara Isackson 



Chairman: 
Staff: 

Members: 



PHILANTHROPIC FUND ADVISORY SUBCOMMITTEE 



Ex-Off icio 



Deborah Bleicher 

Adele Corvin 
Barbara Isackson 
Alvin Levitt 
Raguel Newman 
Norman Rosenblatt 

Laurence Myers 
Rhoda Goldman 



George Saxe 
Stuart Seiler 
Melvin Wasserman 
Ronald Wornick 



Chairman: 



PLANNING & BUDGETING COMMITTEE 



Melvin Wasserman 



Vice Chairman: Randy Dick 
Staff: Gene Kaufman 



Members : 



IN FORMATION 

PROJECT RENEWAL COMMITTEE 



Chairman: Alan Rothenberg 
Vice Chairman: Roselyne Swig 
Staff: Steven Haberfeld 



Members: 



IN FORMATION 



Chairman: 
Vice Chairman 
Staff: 



Members: 



REAL ESTATE SUBCOMMITTEE 

Victor Marcus 
William Lowenberg 
Phyllis Cook 
Nancy Hair 



Stanley Dick 
Dan Geller 
Jim Joseph 
Jay Kaplan 
Harold Kaufman 



Laurence Myers 
Joseph Pell 
Joseph Samson 
Al Shansky 
Boris Wolper 



203 



Real Estate Subcommittee - continued 

Ron Kaufman 
Bradford Liebman 
William J. Lowenberg 



Arthur Zimmerman 



Chairman: 
Vice Chairman 
Staff: 

Members: 



Ex-Of f icio: 



RETIREMENT SUBCOMMITTEE 

Barry Sacks 
Stuart Seiler 
Nancy Hair 

Andrew Colvin 
Dr. Julian Davis 
Samuel Ladar 
Sandra Leib 
Siesel Maibach 
Theodore Seton 
Vivian Solomon 

Annette Dobbs 
Albert Schultz 



2Q4 ADDejidix. 



ACTION: F. It was moved, seconded and passed to appoint the 

following individuals to serve on the Ad Hoc 
Committee on "Who Is A Jew": 

Melvin Swig; Ad Hoc Chair, Endowment Vice Chair 

Max Bernstein; Project Renewal Chair 

Jerome Braun; Past President 

Annette Dobbs; Ex-Officio 

Dianne Feinstein; Delegate 

Jesse Feldraan; Past President 

George Foos; Current Camp Chair 

Stewart Foreman; B & A Chair 

Sam Gill; Project Renewal Vice Chair 

Richard N. Goldman; Past President 

Frances D. Green; Past President 

Peter E. Haas; Past President 

Ron Kaufman; Past President, Overseas Chair 

Robert Kirschner; Delegate 

Samuel A. Ladar; Past President 

Alvin Levitt; Overseas Vice Chair 

William J. Lowenberg; Past President 

Laurence E. Myers; Past President 

Sora Lei Newman; BJE Chair 

Dr. Andrew Rosenblatt; B & A Vice Chair 

George Saxe; Strategic Vice Chair 

Donald Seiler; Endowment Chair 

Robert E. Sinton; Past President 

Peter F. Sloss; Endowment Vice 

Rabbi Malcolm Sparer; Board Of Rabbis 

Ronald Wornick; Strategic Planning Chair 

IX Executive Committee Report 

A. Stuart Seiler delivered the December 6 

Executive Committee report making specific 
mention of the Soviet emigre resettlement 
status. There was also an update made on the 
Marin Campus project and the South Peninsula 
Council. 

X Overseas Committee Report 

A. Due to time constraints, it was agreed to 

postpone the Overseas Committee report until the 
January 17 Board of Director's Meeting. 



Respeptfully Submitted, 



La'uren Dellar 

Assistant to the Executive Director 



205 



Appendix G 



Item 11: 



NOTE: 



Chairman: 



ENDOWMENT COMMITTEE 
(in formation as of 9/18/89) 

For this committee only, the following key applies 
+ Notes Federation Past Presidents 
Don Seiler 



Vice Chairman: Melvin Swig-t-, Development 

Peter Sloss, Allocations 



Staff: 



Members: 



Phyllis Cook 
Dan Asher 

James Abrahamson 
Ben Baum 

Rabbi M. Barenbaum 
Ernest Benesch 
Harry Blumenthal 
John Blumlein 
Joseph Blumlein 
Jerome Braun + 
Adele Corvin 
Jesse Feldman * 
Hanna Fromm 
Bud Gansel 
Richard Goldman + 
Frances Green + 
Peter Haas + 
Douglas Heller 
Geoffrey Kalmanson 
Ron Kaufman + 
Samuel Ladar * 
Robert Levison 



Alvin Levitt 
William Lowenberg + 
Bruce Mann 
Phyllis Moldaw 
Laurence Myers + 
Bernard Osher 
Eda Pell 

William Rollnick 
George Saxe 
Jack Schafer 
Albert Schultz 
William Russell-Shapiro 
Geraldyn Sicular 
Robert Sinton + 
John Steinhart. + 
Melvin Swig + 
L. Jay Tenenbaum 
Haskell Titchell 
Sidney Unobskey 
Anita Weissberg 



Ex-Officio 



Stewart Foreman 
Claude Rosenberg 



Tnt.firn : 



Don 



206 



Appendix H 



Item 11: 



Chairman: 
Members: 



EXECUTIVE SEARCH COMMITTEE 
(in place as of 9/18/90) 



Donald Seiler 

Rabbi Michael Barenbaum 
Annette Dobbs 
Donald Friend 
Richard Goldman 
Peter Haas 
Barbara Isackson 
Joelle Steefel 
Mel Swig 
Roselyne Swig 



Item 12: 



Chair: 

Vice-Chair: 

Staff: 

Members: 



IMPLEMENTATION SUBCOMMITTEE 
(in place -- as of 9/18/90) 



Annette Dobbs 
Susan Folkman 

Brian Lurie 
Nina Bruder 

Adele Corvin 
Stewart Foreman 
John Friedenrich 
Bob Friend 
Sanford Gallanter 
Douglas Heller 
Barbara Isackson 
Sonya Kaplan 
Al Levitt 
Bob Lipman 
Susan Lowenberg 
Larry Myers 
Sora Lei Newman 



Debra Pell 
Alan Rosen 
Richard Rosenberg 
Dr. Andrew Rosenblatt 
Rabbi Peter Rubinstein 
George Saxe 
Albert L. Schultz 
Stuart Seiler 
Joelle Spitzer-Steefel 
Donald Sweet 
Roselyne C. Swig 
Ronald C. Wornick 
Dr. Harold Zlot 



207 



Appendix I 



Item 4: 



Chair: 
Vice Chair 

Staff: 
Members : 



Ex-Officio: 
Intern: 



ENDOWMENT COMMITTEE 
(in place as of 9/18/90) 



Mervin G. Morris 

Melvin M. Swig, Endowment Development 
Peter F. Sloss, Endowment Allocations 



Phyllis Cook 
Peter Gertler 

Rabbi M. Barenbaum 
Benjamin Baum 
Ernest A. Benesch 
John Blumlein 
Jerome Braun 
Adele Corvin 
Annette Dobbs 
Jesse Feldman 
John Freidenrich 
Robert Friend 
Hanna Fromro 
Bud Gansel 
Richard Goldman 
Frances Green 
Peter Haas 
Douglas M. Heller 
Geoffrey Kalmanson 
Ron Kaufman 
Samuel Ladar 
Robert Levison 
Alvin T. Levitt 
William J. Lowenberg 



Bruce Mann 
Phyllis Moldaw 
Laurence Myers 
Bernard Osher 
Eda Pell 
John Pritzker 
William Rollnick 
George Saxe 
Jack G. Schafer 
Albert L. Schultz 
William Russell-Shapiro 
Geraldyn Sicular 
Robert Sinton 
John Steinhart 
L. Jay Tenenbaum 
Haskell Titchell 
Bertram Tonkin 
Sidney Unobskey 
Anita Weissberg 



Claude Rosenberg, Chair, Investment Committee 
Andrew Rosenblatt, Chair, Planning & Allocations 

Don Abramson 



208 



Appendix J 

San Francisco Jewish Bulletin 

December 8, 1978 



SUCCEEDS JOHN H. STEINHART 

Mel Swig Heads Bulletin 



Mel via M. Swig, San Francisco 
real esUte developer, sportsman 

land community and civic leader, 
h*j been elected president of the 
San Francisco Jewish Bulletin's 

Board of Directors. 

Swig, who first served on the 

jiewspaper's board in 1970, sue- 
ceeds John H. Steinhart who has 

&Veo associated with the 

^publishing of the Bulletin for 22 

./ears. His father, Jesse H. 
Steinhart was one of the small 

3poup oY Jewish community 
leaders who bought the publica 
tion from San Francisco attorney 
Sol SUverman -in -1946 and 
established it as a community 
weekly. . 

Other officers elected are at 
torney Milton Jacobs as vice- 
president, Bernice Glickfeld as 

"treasurer and Sue Sransten as 
secretary. .. ; . """ 

Swig, who served as president of 
the Jewish Welfare Federation of 
San Francisco, Marin County and 
the Peninsula in 1971-72, is active 
In numerous civic and community 

Organizations both locally and na 
tionally. He is a former owner of 
the California Golden Seals and 
the Cleveland Barons of the Na 
tional Hockey League. He is a 
director of the Fairmont. Hotel on 



NobHiH. ' .V '">,"'-" 
The BuBetinJs the only weekly 

newspaper in northern California 
serving the Jewish community. It 
Aas escalation of some 17,000 
copies weekty. It is served by the 
^)ewish,"^eVgraphic Agency, a 
^ world wifle news service, of which 
~ Swig & a director, by the London 
Jewish Chronicle feature Service, 
by the National Religious News 
Photo Service 'and the Israel Press 
and Photo Agency. 



I 



A: f 



I 

< ob "= 



Jiff 

*7? S 



209 

Appendix K 

Northern California Jewish 

Bulletin 
July 26, 1985 



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cn 



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** 



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jilSwii^ 
JJ !lilhm 



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ifca 



5-2^f 



e o. 



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s-S 5 ; o 

mill 

' S * * < 3 
I- I SS 2 

3 P a. <9 
:-5^^*S 

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210 



Appendix L 

Northern Californa Jewish Bulletin 

January 24 , 1986 



Swig. gets award for endowment work 



I Melvin M. Swig, a long-time 

leader of the San Franciso Jewish 

'community and past president of 

* "the Jewish Community Federation 

of San Francisco, the Peninsula, 

Marin and Sonoma Counties, has 

been named a recipient of the first 

Council of Jewish Federations 

. endowment achievement award. 

Since 1980, Swig has been chair 
man of the Jewish Community En 
dowment Fund of the JCEF. The 
committee develops new sources of 
endowment funds, and reviews all 
grants and emergency allocations of 
the JCEF. 

The award is geared for "those 
who have, through their leader 
ship, vision and dedication, helped 
-in the successful growth" of their 
federation endowment funds, ac 
cording to the citation. 

The awards were announced re 
cently at the General Assembly 
meeting of the CJF in Washington, 
D.C. 

Robert E. Sinton, a member of 
the )CEF's allocations committee 
and former chairman of the JCEF, 
presented the award to Swig in San 
Francisco earlier this month. 

"Among the many accolades I 
could lavish upon Mel Swig, ' ' com- 
.. mented Sinton, "are for his 
: warmth and his generosity. He has 
proven again and again his commit- 
*"' Inent to assuring the quality and 
f the continuity of the Jewish com 
munity." 

The Swig Foundation recently 
made a gift to the Endowment 
Fund of $500.000. 

Over the five years Swig had 

; headed the JCEF, the total assets of 

the fund have grown from less than 

$23 miHion to more than $50 mil- 



goal to build -a $100 million endow 
ment fund that would give us the 
flexibility to handle crises [ranging] 
from fires to floods to persecution 
of Jews abroad. That remains my 
goal." 

Swig's father, the late Benjamin 
Swig, was chairman of the first be 
quest development committee, 
when the endowment fund offices 
were located on California Street in 
San Francisco. The JCEF was reor 
ganized in 1976 with Sinton as 
chairman. 



Swig, 69, who was instrumental 
in helping establish the JCEF 20 
years ago, is president of the Fair 
mont Hotel Company and is a 
trustee or member of the board of 
directors of some 20 Jewish and 
civic organizations, including the 
University of San Francisco, the 
American Jewish Joint Distribution 
Committee, the regional board and 
the national commission of the 
Anti-Defamation League of B'nai 
B'rith, Brandeis University, Mount 
Zion Hospital and Medical Center, 
and the JCF. 



** t 

..-Upon accepting the award. Bwig ' 
aid, 'Twenty years ago I set as our 



211 



Bpord to Be Expanded 

Settlement Reached 

i ; 

On Koret Foundation 



Appendix M 

San Francisco Chronicle 

June 24, 1986 



.. By Evelyn H$u 

A legal battle over control 
of the nearly $200 million Koret 

Foundation has been settled 
t oat of court, it was learned yes- 

*" lend a y. 

" ' The dispute, involving one of 
; ffie country's largest philanthropic 

foundations, included allegations of 

^proper spending and attempts by 

three directors to remove the 

founder's widow. Susan Koret, as 
chairman. Mrs. Koret, in turn, tried 

t2> fire the three directors. 

, Under terms of the settlement 
\ tfiat ended the dispute. Mrs. Koret 

will be reinstated as chairman and 
\ ike ether board members will re- 
; main as directors, but the board will 

b expanded to 10 members from 
\ the present four. 

T * The new board members will 

Include attorney William Coblentz; 

investor Richard Blum, the hus- 
1 band of Mayor Dianne Feinstein; 
J Businessman Melvin Swig, whose 
I family owns the Fairmont Hotel; 

businessman Stanley Herzstein, and 
I Bernard Osher, head of the Butter- 
; field and Butterf ield auction house. 

the sixth new board member has 
I yt to be selected. 

I - In addition to the composition 

o) the board, one of the major dis- 
t putes between Mrs. Koret and the 
I diner directors was how much of 
tile organization's largesse should 
I bfe directed to Jewish charities. 

I The foundation, created by the 
' lite clothing magnate Joseph Koret. 

had been directing half of its gifts to 
I Jewish causes. But the original 
;tfcree directors developer Tad 

*^ube, businessman Eugene Friend 
!a*d attorney Richard Greene 

wanted to give more money to Jew- 
; tfh organizations. 

T } , Mrs. Koret, who married the 
: p^flanthroptist a year before he 
: dfed at the age of 79 in 1982, said her 
late husband wanted only half of 
1 Ufe money to go to Jewish organiza- 



* The foundation, established 
! from the estate of Koret's first wife 
'in-' 1978, gave away 16 million last 
;ySar .and has about $8 million to 

' gY?nt this year. 



f The settlement, which was 
;- ripened on Friday, calls for half of 
the foundation's annual donations 
;to,go to Jewish charities, said Herz- 
; ifcin. The agreement is expected to 

bnng an end to legal actions filed by 
' bjth sides in April. 

! Despite the often acrimonious 
tc&arges that were made during the 
legal dispute, Herzstein was confi- 
idgnt the new board could work to- 
gether. "You're dealing with a 
i group of very mature adults who 
lean put it all behind them." he said. 

"The foundation has great po 
tential for growth and good," said 
Coblentz. "I'm sure reasonable peo 
ple can work together to earn, out 
the wishes of Mr. Koret." 

Taube, who will remain as pres 
ident of the foundation at a salary 
of $60.000 a year, said: "We are very 
pleased with the resolution of this 
conflict. This will allow us to put our 
problems behind us and focus our 
energies and attention on helping 
worthwhile organizations in our 
community." 

The settlement does not halt an 
audit of the foundation's finances 
by the state attorney general's of 
fice, said Carol Kornblum, assistant 
attorney general. 

The audit began after the legal 
dispute raised questions about fi 
nancial transactions between the 
foundation and its directors. 

Among the charges were accu 
sations by Mrs. Koret that Taube 
wrongly benefited from foundation 
grants that were used to buy tickets 
to Oakland Invaders football games. 
Taube was a co-owner of the now- 
defunct football team. His attorney, 
Jerome Falk, has denied any wrong 
doing by his client 



Appendix N 

San Francisco Chronicle 

September 8, 1986 



The Swigs Build a 
Bigger Empire 



The push is on 
to increase the 
family fortune 



BY STEPHEN MA IT A 



At his table in the Fairmont's Brasse 
rie restaurant, Mel Swig munches a 
Cobb salad and fields rapid-fire 
calls on union troubles, charitable projects 
and real estate ventures. The last call spoils 
lunch. 

Millionaire Phillip Anschutz, who is ne 
gotiating to sell Swig the 550-room Denver 
Fairmont, is arguing about who will get the 
hotel's "air rights" for future development 
After quietly stating his side, Swig con 
cludes, "Well, Phil, maybe we can't do busi 
ness." He hangs up and sighs, 'The Denver 
deal is off." 

August wasn't a great month. Two 
weeks before the Denver deal disinte 
grated, Swig pulled out of a planned 185 
million resort project in Hawaii, citing spi- 
raling costs. But he has no time to dwell on 
nich "deal breakers." "The Denver market's 
been hurting anyway," Swig rationalizes. 
"If we don't add Denver, we'll add some 
thing somewhere else." 

Such is life these days for Melvin Swig, 
the 60-year-old San Francisco hotelier, de 
veloper, checkbook Democrat and philan 
thropist who shares the throne of the Swig 
hotel and real estate empire with brother 
'Richard, 60, and brother-in-law Richard 
Dinner, 64. 

Unlike the Rockefellers and some other 
old-line families whose descendants have 
changed their focus from building to cash 
ing in their assets, the children and grand 
children of the late financier Benjamin 
Swig are intent on adding to the family 
business already valued by some at more 



than $450 million. In the past 24 months 
alone: 

The jewel of the family fortune, the 
elegant Fairmont hotels, are amid their big 
gest expansion. Two new hotels one with 
583 rooms in San Jose, another with 700 
rooms in Chicago will be completed in 
1987, bringing the number of Fairmonts the 
Swigs own or operate to six. And they're 
looking at other cities, too. 

In June, the Swigs bought Arco Cen 
ter, Long Beach's largest office building. 
The acquisition of the 14-story, twin-tower 
complex came after the family missed out 
on its boldest bid ever for the 52-story 
BankAmerica world headquarters in San 
Francisco. Developer Walter Shorenstein, 
ironically a partner on several Swig ven 
tures, walked away with the mammoth 
complex for I860 million. By most indica 
tions, this has been the Swigs' most aggres 
sive real estate year since 1984, when they 
added office towers in New York and New 
Jersey. ^^ .... 

In all, the Swigs now own hotels in San 
Francisco, Dallas and New Orleans, operate 
the Denver Fairmont and have sizable 
stakes in 15 office towers in New York, San 
Francisco, Dallas and Houston. 

Together, the Swigs have amassed one 
of San Francisco's biggest family fortunes, 
bankrolled prominent Democrats from for 
mer California Governor Edmund Brown 
Sr. to Mayor Dianne Feinstein, and devel 
oped one of the nation's most presti 
gious hotel chains. 

Because the business is closely 
held, calculating its value is diffi 
cult. But Forbes magazine last fall 
said Mel and Richard Swig and 
Richard Dinner are among the 400 
richest Americans, with an estimat 
ed wealth of 1150 million each. 
That's up from $100 million each 
'just two years ago, according to the 
magazine's rough estimates. 



Although the family's real es 
tate is overshadowed by the assets 
'of developers like Shorensteln and 
<New York's Donald Trump, the 
holdings still add up to an impres 
sive 8 million-plus square feet of 
space the equivalent of 18 Trans- 
mmenca Pyramids. 

:<, thtiaplrt 

But they haven't done it alone. 
The foundation of the business was 
laid in Boston a half century ago 
when Ben Swig, then a discount re 
tailer, became partners with Jack 
Weiler. a New York property own 
er. The two built and purchased 
buildings throughout the East be 
fore venturing west in 1944. 

It was purely by accident that 
Swig entered the hotel business. On 
a trip to San Francisco to buy an 
office at 111 Sutler Street, he 
learned that the St. Francis Hotel 
was for sale. The office deal fell 
through, but Swig didn't come back 
to Boston empty-handed. He pur 
chased the Union Square landmark 
hotel with several partners; one 
year later he sold his half interest in 
it and bought the Fairmont nam 
ed after James Fair, a California 
gold miner whose daughter built 
the hotel. 

Since Ben Swig's death in 1980, 
inanacement of the family business 
'lias been neatly divided among his 
two sons and son-in-law. 

Mel Swig heads the family busi 
ness as chairman of Swig Weiler 
and Dinner Development Co. An av 
id athlete and backer of Jewish and 
community causes. Mel Swig runs 
the real estate operations while his 
brother operates the hotels. Rich 
ard Dinner, the husband of the 
Swigs' late sister. Betty, co-manages 
the family's holdings. 



During an interview in his mod 
est, single-window office on the 
mezzanine level of the Fairmont, 
Mel Swig said the company once 
regarded as a staid, alow-moving 
family business has embarked on 
its biggest expansion. . 

The catalyst to tbe recent 
growth came in 1962, when the 
Swigs bought out the Weilers' stake 
in the hotel business for a reported 



213 

1200 million. The move marked a 
fundamental change in direction 
for the business. "They were non- 
growth oriented and we felt differ 
ently," Swig said. . 

"It's simply a matter of econom 
ics," said Swig. "We needed to ex 
pand to remain competitive. In the 
hotel business, you need to develop 
referrals from city to city. One hotel 
tends to feed off another." 

' -But Swig stressed that oWptte 
the recent growth, tb* upscale Fair- 
*numt till never &e another Shera- 
l ton or Hilton. "The** duty a limit- 
' ed number of cities in this country 
- where you can build Fairmonts," 
^sald Swig. "Not every city can af 
ford Fairmonts." 

' iCnown Tor Its large rooms, ex 
pansive lobbies and nightclubs, the 

Fairmont has never come cheap. In 
San Francisco, a double room starts 
at $170 a night and goes to $225. 
Suites can run several hundred dol 
lars more, and the tab on the Fair 
mont's three-bedroom penthouse, 
Ben Swig's former residence, 
fetches $4000 a night. 

Although Swig has made it 
clear he'd like to spread his hotel 
and real estate arms to New York 
and Los Angeles, he insists that he 
-has not set any specific .goals for 
future development or investments 
in those cities. 'The Swigs don't go 
out seeking business," Weiler, 82, 
said in a recent telephone inter 
view. "Business comes to them," 

... 1 As much as he wouW like to be 
to certain cities. Swig is quick to 

Jump on a perceived bargain any- 
__wheje. "It's hard to have a precise 

game plan because you never know 

where lightning's going to strike 

next," he said. 



When it comes to building or 
investing, Swig adheres to certain 
philosophies: 

Move qvtekly. "If you wait, 
the good deals are gone, he ex 
plains. On his desk, a bronze plaque' 
emphasizes that philosophy: "Noth- 
"ing will ever be attempted if all 
'possible objectives are first over- 
tome." 

That quick-moving style helped 
Swig land the SOOtfJO-aquare-foot 
jArco Center in Long Beach for 
jaore than 160 million, regarded as a 
, good buy by industry experts. 
When .a real estate partnership 
packed out at tbe last minute, Swig 
~wsn asked to make an offer. He im 
mediately set his lawyers working 
around the dock; by week's end 



In another example of a quick 
deal, Swig received a call on a Mon- 

day morning in 1964 saying 80 Maid 
n Lane, a 550,000-square-foot office 

building in New York, was for sale 
at *a good price because a large ten 
ant Continental Insurance had 
moved out By Wednesday, Steve 
Qilley, president of tbe family's real 
estate operations, was on a plane to 
New York. By Friday, the papers 
were signed. 

Don't go it alone. In many 
cases, Swig has formed partner 
ships with regional developers who 
can provide capital and local exper 
tise. In San Francisco, the Swigs and 
developer Walter Shorenstem have 
formed a powerful real estate alli 
ance over the years, buying the 
Russ and Merchants Exchange 
buildings together as wen as various 
other prime downtown sites. In San 
Jose, Swig is building the Fairmont 
with local developer Kim Small 
And in Chicago, Metropolitan Struc 
tures, a prominent Midwest builder, 
is Swig's partner. 

Be choosey. As in the hotel 
business. Swig won't build or invest 
in real estate just anywhere. He has 
virtually sworn off San Francisco, 
where he owns a stake in 1.5 million 
square feet of office space, includ 
ing the Mills Building at 220 Mont 
gomery and 633 Folsom. 

Between a 16 percent vacancy 
rate, special city fees and taxes tack 
ed onto developments, and a loss of 
locally based businesses, Swig ar 
gues that it just doesn't make eco 
nomic sense to plow money into San 
Francisco right now. 

"I wouldn't build a building 
here now and I'd think twice before 
buying one," he said. "I don't see 
new people coming into- town. 
We're not a Houston, thank God, 
but we've had some severe dam 
age." Instead, the family is focusing 
its attention on Southern California, 
where H believes the financial ser 
vice center of the West Coast has 
been drifting. ' 

v 

Unlike some other real estate 
1 financiers, Swig is more likely to 
flrop a project rather than compro 
mise on terms or quality.' In the 
Hawaiian project, for example, he 
-pulled out of *n $85 million resort 
on the island of Motokai after deter 
mining If wouM cost $125 million to 
"do it right" that is, add two 
additional 18-hole -golf courses and 
upgrade the neighboring Sheraton 
Hotel 



214 



IB a profession characterized 

by the crafty and the cutthroat 

v ;Swig doer match the stereotype 

f eH 



tat even wile** o^alls gottg down 
the tabea. "He** tow profile, that 
you wouldn't know be runrUtefcind 
: of -empirt *e do^s," aaid Al King- 
myii exeeuUye Jriee president at 
Pim Interstate Bank, which often 
kelp* nance,Swig deals, v - 

"* VTbiJe miny devdoperetah af 

1 ^locd to be ieneroiii the Swigs actu- 

E ally are, Soatn Bnibeck, a^broker 

wKb Grvbb.lt EHis, said abe was 

. -absolutely atunned** whea^wig 

-paid bar a 1280.000 commiatian for 

taking Pacific Stock Exchange off i- 

' dak by onexrf bis buildings several 

\ ' years ago. PSE signed a lease some 

1 time after the tour, .negotiating di- 

jttctly with Swig. . - TV.- 

v f "Nlwiy percent of the other 

'landlords in this city mould not 

bave paid a commfesion tn that case 

and still would have had; a dear 

conscience.** Brubeck-said; '. . 

But union leaders in SanPran- 

cisco say the Swig children $nd 

grandchildren haven'l been is char- 

* iuble to tbem. Contract talks with 

the Hotel and Restaurant Employ 

ees Unkm Local 2 are becoming 

strained. aaldTeter pen'anles. di 

.rector of staff for the Union. He said 

Abe Swigs for ihe first 4inw hate 

.aligned themselves with national 

2>otel chains, like the Sheraton and 

t^BUton, who hive taken a hard-iiae 

ttand on concessions. ----- 



a '^Ha'B breatb away 
^ from a viraikout. %aid Cervantes 
f * "Ben wata't a softie; but we newr 

came tifis close to strike with 

him." . 



the Many 
facets of 
Mel Swig 

f there's one thing that Mel Swig 

- "I learned from his father, the late f inan- 

der BeBi*tp Swig, it's that business 



knt everything 

> The ioftfpbkcn, (-year-old chair- 

f man of the family's hotel and real estate 

-empire works as hard giving money 

.way as he does making it. He's good at 



It's still very exciting to me," said 
Swig, who hasn't slowed down since his 
econd cancer operation in March. "I 
love the fact that I can be talking about 
hotels one minute, real estate the next 
and charities after that." 

Swig rises by 6:30 every morning at 
bis five-acre summer estate in Woodside, 
- grabs a quick breakfast and then drives 
nfc Jaguar sedan to the Fairmont office 
on Nobtp to begin work by 7.30. Before 
bis day is over 11 hours or 12 hours 
later, he's likely to have met with 
developers about a joint venture. 
worked on a fund-raising drive for 
the state of Israel and presided over 
the University of San Francisco's 
Board of Trustees, of which he is 
president. 

He attacks his free time with 
the same zeal. A college hockey star 
and former owner of the predeces 
sor of the Minnesota North Stars, 
Swig swims and plays tennis at his 
Woodside home. And nearly every 
weekend, he's on the golf course at 
the Lake Merced Country Club in 
Daly City, whittling away at a nine 
handicap. 

Like his father, Swig is ada 
mant about giving. One of the city's 
leading philanthropists, the Brown 
University graduate serves on the 
board of 14 college and civic organi 
sations. -We've been brought up to 



believe we're obligated to give" 
. something back to the community."; 
j* be sakUArtdlhe Swigs do more 
^ than $2 million a year to Jewish^ 
r educational, political and civic or pa 
ftiaizations, by some accounts. 

f *Tm a Democrat and work verV 
P bard for Democratic candidates,' 



* be said. "But the state of Israel is a if' 
^overriding devotion of mine. A 
' most recently, USF has been occu< 
1 Pying more of my time." ii 

- Philanthropy is something the; 

Swigs learned from their father. 
. Once dubbed "the fastest check- 
r^boOk iathe West," Ben Swig regu- 
flatly gave to Catholic and Jewish 

^organisations alike, as well as youth 
; groups, universities and community 

-causes 

'My father used to tell his 
friends. tJivc it away while you're 
alive, because there are no pockets 
hi shrouds,' " Swig recalled. 



215 



Who's Waiting in the Wings 



Whenever brothers Mei and Richard Swig and 
brother-in-law Richard Dinner retire, the 
grandchildren of the late financier Ben Swig are 
ready to take over the family enterprise. 

Three of Mel's children and one of Richard's, 
ranging in age from 25 to 44, are involved in the 
family's real estate and hotel operations, believed to 
be worth more than $450 million. 

The eldest is Stephen Swig, a 44-year-old San 
Francisco attorney with the law firm of Titchell 
Maltzman. Born to Mel and his first wife, Phyllis 
Diamond, Stephen represents the family in many 
ventures. His brother-in-law. Robert "Ted" Parker, 
also is an attorney with Titchell Maltzman. 

Richard Swig Jr.. 35. has followed his father into 
the hotel business. He is now vice president and 
managing director of the Fairmont Hotel Manage 
ment Co.. which oversees operation of the San Fran 
cisco, Denver. Dallas and New Orleans hotels. 

Twin brothers Kent and Robert Swig, 25. Mel's 
sons bv his second wife, Marcia Hove, also are active 



ly involved In the day-to-day operation of the hotel 
and real estate businesses. 

Kent is vice president of Swig Weiler and Din 
ner Development Co., the real estate arm of the Swig 
empire. Robert is the resident manager of the San 
Francisco Fairmont. 

Last year. Scott Heldfond, 40. Richard Dinner's 
son-in-law, stepped down as chief operating officer 
at Dinner Levison Co., the insurance firm co-found 
ed by his father-in-law, to start his own firm. Held 
fond joined Doug Sborenitein, the 31-year-old son of 
developer Walter Shorenstein, in forming DSI Insur 
ance Services, a full-line insurance brokerage in San 
Francisco. 

Despite the active involvement of four third- 
generation Swigs, family members insist there is no 
jockeying for position and no heir apparent. 

"Everyone is equal here," said Kent Swig. "The 
percentages (of family holdings) are equal, we all 
have equal say in decisions. And nothing has been 
decided" about future positions. 

STEPHEN MA IT A 



216 



Family of S.F. philanthropists 

_: . 



Appendix 

Northern California Jewish Bulletin 

October 31, 1986 



A decade ago, Melvin Swig ac 
companied his ailing father, Ben 
jamin Swig, to Israel, where the fin 
ancier was to receive an award from 
Hebrew University. At the cere 
mony, the 81-year-old Swig told Is 
raeli officials about how he was 
raised in a small town outside Bos 
ton. 

There were so few Jews that they 
couldn't form a minyan, he joked. 
There were so few Jews that he 
never had a bar rrutzvah, he noted 
with a tinge of sadness. 

Less than 40 hours later, Mel 
Swig and his wife Dee had orga 
nized a bar mitzvah for his father at 
the Western Wall. 

Many people would say that that 
kind of heartfelt commitment is the 
mark of the Swigs, not only within 
their family but in community giv 
ing and in Jewish life. 

"The Swig family members put 
out their emotions as well as their 
resources," says William Lowen- 
berg, genera] chairman of Israel 
Bonds for Northern California. 
"They portray menschlichkeit. 

"If it weren't for the Swigs, we 
would have a void here. They 
never have to be asked twice to 
help." 

The Swig-Dinner family Dee 
and Melvin Swig, Roselyne "Cis 
sie" and Richard Swig, and the Ri 
chard Dinner family will be hon 
ored for their generosity and 
commitment at the international 
state of Israel Bonds dinner Sun 
day, Nov. 9 at the Fairmont Hotel, 
California and Mason streets, S.F. 

It will be the first time a family 
will receive the much-coveted 
Golda Meir Leadership Award, 
which is the only award in her 
name authorized by the family of 
the late prime minister of Israel. 

"I have had the great personal 
privilege of meeting and working 
with the members of the Swig and 
Dinner family," says Brigadier 
Gen. Yehudah Halevy, worldwide 
president and CEO of state of Israel 
Bonds. "Few families can equal 
mem. 

"They have established a family 
Tradition of selfless activity for 
many worthwhile causes, which 
they inherited and have passed on 
to the next generation. Israel Bonds 
honors them with great pride and 
appreciation." 



gets community's thanks 



The Swig family estimates it has 
contributed "tens of millions of 
dollars, with approximately 60 per 
cent going to Jewish causes," since 
the late Benjamin Swig, once 
dubbed "the fastest checkbook in 
the West," moved to San Francisco 
from Boston in 1946. 

With him, Ben Swig brought a 
sense of democratization to the San 
Francisco Jewish philanthropies, 
showing that "those who came up 
the hard way can join the leader 
ship of the community," recalls 
Lou Stein, director of Israel Bonds 
when it was first created and when 
Ben Swig served as its first chair 
man. 

Following in his footsteps, Mel 
Swig served as general chairman in 
1956, Richard Swig in 1964 and 
1965, and "Cissie" Swig in 1982 
through 1984. 

The Swigs and Dinners aren't 
"just checkbook philanthropists," 
says Stein, noting that they partici 
pate in the planning, program 
ming, telephoning from begin 
ning to end of any project. 
"They're not clones of Ben or of 
anyone else. Their interests cover 
the whole fabric of the commu 
nity." 

Like his father, Mel Swig is ada 
mant about giving. "Business is not 
everything," says the businessman 
and real estate developer. "We've 
.been brought up to believe we're 
obligated to give something back to 
the community. 

"My father used to tell his 
friends, 'Give it away while you're 
alive, because there are no pockets 
in shrouds/ " 

With gentle humor, Mel Swig de 
fines frustration as "not meeting 
your fund-raising goal," and he de 
fines tzedakah (charity) as a form of 
Jewish self-defense, prescribed in 
theBiMe. 

The other Swigs are as doggedly 
committed to their volunteer activi 
ties. 

Most people think of Richard 
Swig as the president of the world- 
famous, family-owned Fairmont 
Hotels. But Rabbi Brian Lurie, exec 
utive director of the Jewish Com 
munity Federation of San Fran 



cisco, the Peninsula, Marin and 
Sonoma Counties, will always re 
member Richard Swig snievping two 
of the fattest suitcases during a mis 
sion to Czechoslovakia, Poland, 
Hungary and Israel despite a bad 
back. The suitcases, Lurie relates, 
were filled with gifts for needy Jews 
throughout Eastern Europe and Is 
rael; nothing could be left behind. 

That trip affected the Swigs more 
profoundly than any other experi 
ence. "It brought us to our heri 
tage, our roots, and confirmed with 
a fervor why we do what we do, 
and why we will continue," says 

Richard Swig. 

When it seemed like an Israel 
Bonds show being written and pro 
duced by a talented San Francisco 
artist might fall through, "Cissie" 
Swig sent her husband boating by 
himself and, in her living room, 
marshalled her troops, the commu 
nity women working on the event, 
to write the script themselves. "If 
you're a leader, you have to be a 
catalyst," she says. 

Volunteer work is also a lifestyle 
for the Dinners, who support Tem 
ple Emmanu-El, Hebrew Union 
College, the San Francisco Sym 
phony, and the San Francisco Gi 
ants. "We don't give it a second 
thought," says Richard Dinner. 
"It's a way of life for us." 

Married to the late Betty Swig 
and currently to Joan Withers Din 
ner, he devotes most of his day to 
civic activities. He has undertaken 
responsibility and leadership on be 
half of a host of organizations and 
institutions that contribute to the 
stature of San Francisco Pacific 
Presbyterian Hospital, the San 
Francisco Zoological Society, and 
the Salvation Army. He was also 
the founder of the San Francisco 
Chapter of American associates of 
Ben Gurion University. 

"I get more out of this than I put 
into it, and in this way, I find deep, 
personal fulfillment/' says Dinner. 

Each family member has been ac 
tive in philanthropic organizations 
outside the Jewish community, giv 
ing then all tremendous visibility. 

"They care about the Jewish com 
munity but also about the entire 
community," says Lowenberg. 
"The credibility they give to the 
Jewish community is something 
very few can duplicate." 



1CTDBER24. 1986 



217 



THE NORTHWN CAOFORNJA-JEWBH BULLETIN 



Appendix P 



PAGE 7 





takes great pleasure in inviting yoii 
to join in honoring 

The Swig <^> Dinner Family 

1986 Recipients of * 




Xfcfcvrf orf /mn Dtawr 



TAie Go/da Me/r Leadership Award 



at a 



Gala International Dinner 

* 

Distinguished Guest Speaker 

Moshe Arens 

Israel's Ambassador to the United States, 1982-1983 i 

Israel's Defense Minister, 1983-1984 , . , . 

Sunday evening, the ninth of November 

Grand Ballroom 
Fairmont Hotel v ; .;. 

San Francisco 

'. '": - 

Cocktails at si'* o'clock .- . - , 
Dinner at seven o'clock 



Couvert $60 per person 
Dietary Laws Observed 



Black Tie 
R.S.V.P. 



Walter H. Shorenstein, Dinner Chairman 

DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION FOR ISRAEL 

47 KEARNY STREET, SUITE 705, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA 94108 

For reservations and information, contact 781 "32 1 3 



BOND GALA 
TO HONOR 
SWIG-DINNER 
FAMILY ; 

The Golda Meir Leadership 
Award, authorized by'jhe 
family of- the , late beloved 
Prime Minister of Israel, -is 
presented once each year 1 to 
a nationally prominent 
leader for exemplary service 
to Israel, the Jewish people 
and the community-at-large. 

The first family to receive 
this prestigious award, Dee 
and Mel Swig, Roselyne and 
Richard Sung and the Richard 
Dinner Family represent con 
tinuation of a tradition of 
service that has passed from 
generation to generation. 
Their tireless efforts on 
behalf of the State of Israel 
and Jews everywhere have 
earned them a well deserved 
place in the annals of world 
Jewry. 

As individuals and as a 
family, they- have created 
lives of distinction and 
responsibility and involved 
themselves in a wide variety 
of philanthropic, humanitar 
ian and community endeav 
ors. There is virtually no sig 
nificant leadership role in 
both the Jewish and general 
communities that a member 
of this distinguished and 
energetic family has not 
served with dedication, gen 
erosity and integrity. 

In the spirit and measure 
of Golda Meir, we honor the 
Swig-Dinner Family with great 
pride, respect, gratitude and 
affection in recognition of a 
lifetime of involvement. 
They serve as an inspiration 
to us all. 

An Exciting Weekend 
in San Francisco For r 
Out-Of-Toum Guests 

Saturday Evening Party 

Tours of San Francisco 
and The Wine Country 

National Cabinet 
Meeting on Sunday 
Morning 

Women's Division Tea 

Walter H. Shorenstein 
Dinner Chairman 

. Robert E. Sinton 

Eugene E. Trefethen, Jr. 
Tribute Committee 
Co-chairmen _ 

William J. Lowenberg 
General Chairman 



218 

Appendix Q 



MELVIN SWIG'S REMARKS 



ANTI DEFAMATION LEAGUE 



June 11 , 1987 



I AM PRIVILEGED AND HONORED TO SAY A FEW WORDS 
ABOUT MY FRIEND, FR. JOHN LO SCHIAVO, PRESIDENT OF 
THE UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO. AS MANY OF YOU 
KNOW, FR. LO SCHIAVO IS AN EDUCATOR, A MOTIVATOR AND 
A CARING AND WARM HUMAN BEING. IT HAS BEEN A 
PRIVILEGE FOR ME TO WORK WITH HIM IN MY CAPACITY AS 
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD AT USF AND TO SEE JOHN IN 
ACTION. USF IS ON THE MOVE AND MUCH OF THE MOTION 
HAS COME AS A RESULT OF FR. LO SCHIAVO. 
HE HAS ENRICHED USF'S GENERAL EDUCATION PROGRAM, 
HELPED TO FURTHER SENIOR EDUCATION THROUGH THE FROMM 
INSTITUTE, AND HAS BROUGHT AN INTERFACED DIMENSION TO 
THE UNIVERSITY. MY FAMILY HAS HELPED TO ESTABLISH 
THE MAE AND BENJAMIN SWIG CHAIR IN JUDAIC STUDIES 
WHICH IS AN EXAMPLE OF THE ECUMENICAL PRESENCE THAT 
FR. LO SCHIAVO HAS BROUGHT TO USF. IN ADDITION, HE 
HAS STRONGLY SUPPORTED OUR EFFORTS IN CREATING THE 
KORET CENTER, A MULTI PURPOSE HEALTH AND RECREATION 
BUILDING WHICH IS PRESENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION. 




219 



JOHN LO SCHIAVO HAS WORKED WITH ALL SAN 
FRANCISCANS TO MAKE USF A TRULY UNIVERSAL EDUCATIONAL 
INSTITUTION WHERE ALL ARE WELCOMED AND ENCOURAGED TO 
STUDY. PRESENTLY, THERE ARE STUDENTS FROM 85 NATIONS 
ATTENDING USF. FR. LO SCHIAVO HAS SERVED ON NUMEROUS 
BOARDS AND ADVISORY GROUPS THROUGHOUT THE BAY AREA. 
IN 1977 HE WAS NAMED MAN OF THE YEAR BY THE SAN 
FRANCISCO FORWARD FOR FOSTERING IDEALS AND TRADITIONS 
THAT HAVE MADE SAN FRANCISCO ONE OF THE GREATEST 

/- ., ^-y ff-^fff^i^^^ _^i-f* <5c^ 

CITIES IN THE WORLD. FR. LO SCHIAVO HAS SERVED AS A 
TRUSTEE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO SINCE 
1964. HE WAS ELECTED THE 25TH PRESIDENT IN 1977 AND 
CELEBRATED HIS 10TH ANNIVERSARY IN FEBRUARY. THE MAN 
WEARS ---< 




V 
BUT WHAT DO THESE ACHIEVEMENTS TELL US? THEY 

INFORM US A BIT ABOUT THE PUBLIC MAN. BUT, AFTER 
SEVERAL YEARS HAVING WORKED1WITH FR. LO SCHIAVO, I 
CAN TELL YOU IN A WORD ABOUT THE PRIVATE MAN HE IS 
GENUINE. TONIGHT WE HONOR THIS SPECIAL AND UNIQUE 
PERSON - THROUGH HIS ACHIEVEMENTS, HIS EXAMPLE, HE 
BRINGS EXCELLENCE TO THE UNIVERSITY AND GENUINENESS 
TO THE STAFF, FACULTY AND STUDENTS. THE MAN WE HONOR 
IS AN HONORABLE, UPRIGHT AND DECENT H-UM/ffT-B^J^. HE 
IS AN ACHIEVER, A DOER, AND ONE WHO UPHOLDS BY 
EXAMPLE MORALITY AND DECENCY. 



220 



I AM PRIVILEGED TO INTRODUCE MY FAVORITE JESUIT, 
^^iV^ 

OCIETY or~jEStre) FR. JOHN LO SCHIAVO. 



WILL FATHER LO SCHIAVO JOIN ME AT THE PODIUM 
ALONG WITH STANLEY HERZSTEIN, AL KINGMAN AND LEE 
PRUSSIA 



CO 



k'r 



221 

Appendix R 

Northern California Jewish Bulletin 
July 31, 1987 



CO 
CD 



*rf 'S-ESl c.SS S u 

co 2ffi|ijfjf 



Itf -5 














222 



Appendix S 

Brown University 
1989 



Honorary Degrees 



Recognizing 
excellence 



BY MARK NICKEL 

Former Notre Dame president The Rev. 
Theodore Hesburgh and Emmanuel de 
Margerie, French ambassador to the United 
States, will be among seven recipients of 
honorary degrees at the 221st Commence 
ment They will participate in one of the 
nation's oldest academic traditions. Since 
its first Commencement in 1769, Brown has 
honored men and women who are leaders 
in their fields, from George Washington 
(h!790) and Thomas Jefferson (hl787) to 
modern-day astronauts, poets, world lead 
ers, scientists and artists. 

The 1989 honorary degree recipients: 



Mel vin M. Swig, real estate develop 
er, businessman and philanthropist. 

Swig, a native of Boston, has built a 
successful career in real estate de 
velopment on the West Coast Swig is 
chairman of the board of Swig, Wieler & 
Dinner Development Company of San 
Francisco and chairman of the board of the 
Fairmont Hotel Management Company. 
His many civic affiliations include higher 
education, religious organizations and civic 
philanthropies. 

During his long service to Brown Uni 
versity, Swig served as director of the Third 



University's highly successful capital cam 
paign (the Campaign for Brown) and the 
Athletic Center Committee. Swig was elect 
ed a trustee of the University in 1981 and 
served until 1987. He received an honorary 
Bachelor of Philosophy degree from the 
University in 1982. 

Swig, a member of Brown's riass of 
1939, will receive his honorary doctorate in 
front of classmates assembled for their 50th 
reunion. 



223 
THE PRESIDING BISHOP'S COMMITTEE 

on 
CHRISTIAN-JEWISH RELATIONS Appendix T 

July 29, 1991 
To: Members of the House of Bishops 

From: John H. Burt, chairman, P. B. Committee 
Dear Colleagues: 

I write to you in the aftermath of the General Convention to reflect a 
bit on the struggle all of us experienced at Phoenix to craft and adopt 
what we hoped would be fair and "balanced" resolutions on the Middle East. 

A number of you, along with many clergy and lay deputies, expressed 
astonishment to me that one of our Jewish guests, Rabbi Robert Kravitz, 
should have publicly voiced such dismay over the wording of what we voted 
(especially the final form of Resolution DOOSs ) in his remarks before both 
Houses. Some bishops were even irritated at me personally since it was I 
who had introduced the rabbi in both of his appearances. 

I trust it is obvious that I neither authored his words nor encouraged 
him to say what he said. My role was that of hosting the Jewish visitors 
on behalf of the Presiding Bishop because I currently chair his Committee 
on Christian-Jewish Relations. You should know, incidentally, that the 
rabbi did not just "drop in" on Convention to make a statement. He had 
been with us the entire week, attending hearings, talking with committee 
people, doing his best to influence those writing the Middle East 
resolutions in the directions of what he considered to be greater 
fairness. In a way, it is a compliment to our hospitality toward him that 
he felt free to "speak his mind." 

Whatever the propriety of his words, however, it now seems to me 
important for each of us to try to understand (and help our clergy and our 
people understand) why many an American Jew (and perhaps a lot of the rest 
of us who are students of the Middle East) feel that our General 
Convention resolutions did turn out to be less than fair. 

Especially in these coming days when Middle East peace negotiations 
may get under way, it is particularly crucial for us to understand and to 
empathize with the pain and dilemmas of both Israeli and Palestinian 
alike. Let me illustrate why our work at Phoenix seemed to lack balance. 

1. First of all, though our resolution DOOSs begins in its first 
resolve to address the peace problem in the entire Middle East, the fact 
is that it quickly evolves into a narrow resolution dealing with the 
relation of Israel to the West Bank and Gaza. We need to be aware that 
Israelis and Jews generally are rightly offended when we Christians seem 
not to understand that the underlying issue for the Jewish State (whatever 
it may be for West Bank and Gaza residents) is the reality that 20 Arab 
nations are still in a declared state of war with her. For Israel, it is 
difficult to respond effectively to the changes we urge in the occupied 
territories until those Arab nations make peace. The very "secure 
borders" we say we favor for Israel are simply not possible until peace is 
negotiated at least with Syria, Jordan, Iraq and the Lebanon. How can 
Israel, for instance, possibly vacate or demilitarize the West Bank until 
she is guaranteed security by those Arab powers? Secretary Baker 



224 

understands this. So does President Bush. Why cannot we understand, 
also, when we write resolutions? Are we unaware that the strip o( Israel 
territory lying between the western edge of the West Bank and the 
Mediterranean sea is only nine miles wide in one place? An invading 
Jordanian tank assault could cut the State of Israel in half in 15 
minutes! Thus, Israel's currently expressed willingness to talk with West 
Bank and Gaza representatives about some form of sovereignty, even as she 
negotiates simultaneously with those Arab powers over the larger peace 
issue, is for her a very big concession. 

2. To advocate a Palestinian state, as the Episcopal Church and the 
Anglican Communion constantly do, rather than to speak simply of a 
"Palestinian homeland" (as the Roman Catholic bishops do) or "Palestinian 
sovereignty" or "Palestinian, self-determination" seems to many an American 
Jew as asking Israel to concede some of her precious peace "bargaining 
chips" even before the Arab powers have been asked to concede anything at 
all! In the eyes of Israelis and most American Jews, therefore, this 
feature of our General Convention resolution, along with our demand that 
settlement construction be stopped forthwith, makes the Episcopal Church 
appear to be clearly prejudiced to the Arab side of the peace equation. 
Why, they wonder, do we only make demands on Israel? Why no call for an 
end to the Arab boycott of the Jewish State, for example? Why no call for 
human rights and justice in the conduct of Syria? 

3. The omission from our resolution of any hint that we appreciate 
Israel's provision of a safe haven for millions of oppressed Soviet Jews 
and the omission from any Convention resolution of appreciation for 
Israel's miraculous rescue of 15,000 black Ethiopian Jews (especially at a 
Convention dealing with "racism") is a silence Israelis and American Jews 
simply cannot understand especially since we speak with concern for 
refugees everywhere else on the planet but in Israel. That Ethiopian 
refugee rescue, incidentally, may be the first time in history that a 
predominantly white nation imported black Africans for the sake of their 
freedom rather than for their slavery! Why can't we celebrate that? 

4. When we refer to "East Jerusalem" as having the same status in our 
opinion as the occupied West Bank and Gaza, we appear to give the 
impression that Episcopalians think the unifying of the city by the Jews 
in 1967 was morally wrong and that we prefer once again a divided holy 
city (with all the memories of barbed wire and a "no man's land" running 
through its heart as from 1948 to 1967). Jews wonder if members of our 
General Convention have forgotten the way the Jordanian occupying army, 
back in 1948, drove all Jews from the eastern part of the city (where the 
Jewish quarter had stood for centuries), des'.royed their homes, wrecked 13 
of their synagogues and paved roads with me rial markers from desecrated 
Jewish graves? Israelis and American Jews w nder if we recall that, 
during the those 19 years of Jordanian occupation, not a single Jew was 
allowed to visit the holiest Jewish shrine on earth (the Western Wall of 
the Temple) and that even Israeli Christians and foreign Christian 
visitors to Israel were unable to visit Bethlehem, Calvary and the Church 
of the Holy Sepulchre. Do we forget that Jerusalem has never, throughout 
human history, been the capital of any other people but Jews? Since 
Israel has for the last 24 years done a modestly good job in letting both 
Muslim and Christian authorities supervise their own holy places in East 
Jerusalem with access open to all of their devout, why (our Jewish 
friends wonder) does the Convention resolution suggest the old city and 
its suburbs should be considered under the same rubric as the other 



225 

occupied lands? After all, both Christians (except for one year) and 
Muslim populations have increased in number within the reunited Jerusalem 
every single year but one since 1967 -- and this despite the intifada 
insurrection and the struggles over the Temple Mount and St. John's 
Hospice. Jews, therefore, wonder why our Church conclave appears to favor 
either a return to a divided city or (perish the thought!) a Jerusalem 
that is the capital of a Palestinian apartheid state from which Jews would 
be banned as Yasir Arafat and the PLO have proposed. 

5. Since Israel, like every other nation receiving U.S. Aid, must 
already account to our government for its use of both loans and grants, 
Israelis and American Jews wonder why our resolution about accountibil i ty 
would have the United States force on Israel economic strictures which we 
do not insist be also placed pn Israel's sworn enemies. Why do we forget 
that Arab powers have abused our aid? Why, Jews wonder, do we say nothing 
to protest the U. S. decision to continue Syria's status as a beneficiary 
of the GSP trade program despite substantial evidence of worker rights 
violations and support of terrorist activity by the Syrian government? 
Why do we continue to arm Saudi Arabia which is no friend of democracy and 
freedom and where women are little better than chattel? 

~ . The resolution D-008s also seems to Israelis and American Jews 
sel ontradictory . On the one hand, it goes "on record in support of 
Sec try of State Baker's efforts" yet, on the other, it would impose 
pre-. -?otiation penalties on Israel that are not part of the Baker plan! 
The Bilker peace initiative, for example, does not make ending settlement 
construction a precondition (even though Baker dislikes them); it does not 
call for the establishment of a Palestinian state; in interpreting United 
Nations Resolution 242, it does not reject the Israeli claim that, having 
already given up the entire Sinai with its oil fields and part of the 
Golan, the Jewish State may have already demonstrated it has given up 
sufficient "land for peace." In other words, Baker understands that many 
Israel/Arab counter-claims must be negotiated at the peace table. Why do 
we urge pre-negot iat ion concessions on Israel without urging similar 
concessions by her enemies? 

7. We rightly call for "justice" for Palestinians but why limit the 
call only in behalf of those Palestinians living in the West Bank/Gaza? 
Before the Gulf War there were 400,000 Palestinians in Kuwait and even 
more in Iraq. All of these have suffered dreadful Gulf War injustices. 
Kuwait's Ambassador to the United States said publicly on July 4, on the 
eve of our Convention, that his country has a plan to expel tens of 
thousands of Palestinians. And he said this just days after the UN 
Security Council condemned Israel for deporting four -- yes four -- 
Palestinians involved in instigating violence. No wonder Israel distrusts 
the fairness of the United Nations at the forthcoming peace negotiating 
table. 

8. We rightly call on Israel to reopen universities in the West Bank 
(something it is in fact now doing) but make narry a peep when Jordan in 
early July suspended pre-universi ty exams in the West Bank with the result 
that Palestinians will not be accepted at universities in any Arab state. 

Peace negotiations in the Middle East will be successful only to the 
extent that the United States (as one of the two convenors) reassures a 
skeptical Israel that it will be even-handed toward all parties at the 



226 

peace table. Alas, the advice of our General Convention resolutions, if 
heeded by the President and the Congress, would (in the opinion of 
Israelis, most American Jews and many of the rest of us) serve to tip the 
scales in favor of the Arab powers -- powers that reflect very little of 
the democratic heritage, independent judiciary, freedom of speech and 
press, inter-racial understanding, equality for women and universal 
suffrage which the United States and Israel share in common. 

We need not agree with our Jewish fellow-countrymen on all issues nor 
with Rabbi Kravitz on the several points he made. We need not and should 
not cease our call for justice toward West Bank/Gaza Palestinians nor our 
support for Bishop Samir Kafity and the intrepid witness of the Anglican 
Church in the Middle East. But we do need to understand the risks which 
Israel must take if permanent: peace is to come and to recognize the 
virtues of the Jewish State along with its warts, warts not entirely 
dissimilar to those we also have here in this American nation we all love 




/Oohn H. Burt * 

Chair, P. B. Committee* 

* This statement represents the sentiments of its author and is not issued 
as a statement by or on authorization of the entire Presiding Bishop's 
Committee 

You are welcome to share the sentiments I have suggested above with 
your clergy and your people if you are so moved. 



227 



INDEX- -Melvin M. Swig 



American Association of Ben Gurion 

University of the Desert, 107- 

108 
American Conservatory Theatre , 

117-118 
American Friends of Haifa 

University, 103 
American Jewish Committee, 104, 

115 
American Joint Distribution 

Committee, 109 
anti-Semitism, 41, 45 
Aronovitz, Hyman, 1 
Aronovitz, Ida, 1 
assimilation, 166-167 

Bakar, Gerson, 81, 84 
Ball, Williama, 117 
Bay Area Council, 134 
Black, Shirley Temple, 130 
Brandeis University, 5, 109-110 
Breen, Carole, 80-81 
Brown University, 16-18, 135-136, 
164 

Civic League of Improvement Clubs 

and Associations of San 

Francisco, 118-119 
Columbia Boys' Club, 137 
Commonwealth Clubs of California, 

119-120 

Cook, Phyllis, 80-81, 83, 84 
Crescent Porter Hale Foundation, 

120-121 

Crystal, David, 39, 99 
Curly, Mayor James Michael, 12- 
13 

Davis, Rabbi David, 111, 115 
Davis, Ulla, 121 

Dinkelspiel, Lloyd, Jr., 75 
Dinner, Betty Swig, 12 

Fairmont Hotel, 26, 30 



Feins tein, Dianne, 119 
Feinstein, Wayne, 78-79 
Feldman, Jesse, 59-60, 74-76 
Fisher, Geoffrey, 90-91, 92 
Fisher, Max, 86, 88 
Fleishhacker, Mortimer, 117-118 
Ford, Joe, 4-5, 18 

Grace Cathedral, 113-116 

Green, Frances D. , 59, 75, 76, 98 

Haas, Peter, 81, 84 
Heller, Douglas, 75 
Hoffberger, Chuck, 86 

Israel, 35-36, 50, 57, 69-70, 87- 
88, 100-103, 144-151 

Jewish Agency, 42, 46, 86-89 
Jewish Community Bulletin, 90-94 
Jewish Community Federation of San 
Francisco, the Peninsula, Mar in 
and Sonoma Counties, 33ff 109, 
166-168 
ad hoc committee on "Who is a 

Jew," 102-104 
committee of 100, 62-63 
committee on Jewish education, 

101-102 

encouraging newcomers , 168 
executive committee, 55 
headquarters building, 78 
Jewish education, 65-69 
Jewish identity, 65 
leadership development, 56-57, 

64 

overseas committee, 99-101 
public relations committee, 55- 

56 
search committee for new 

executive, 78 

Jewish Endowment Fund, 80-85 
Jewish Family Service Agency, 39, 



228 



98-99 
Jewish National Welfare Fund, 32- 

33 

Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 94-96 , 
Jewish Vocational Service, 63 

Kaplan, Mendel, 87 

Keil, Edward, 120, 126 

Kennedy, John F. , 1, 13, 153-154 

Kennedy, Joseph, 1, 13 

Koret Foundation, 137-139 

Kuhn, Marshall, 40-46, 80-81 

Ladar, Samuel A., 72, 76 

Large Cities Budgeting Conference, 

71-72 

Lipner, Rabbi Pincus , 66-67, 69 
Lo Schiavo, Father John, 111, 115 
Lurie, Rabbi Brian, 60, 63, 64, 

74-77, 86, 87, 89, 100-101 

Magnin, Cyril, 117-118, 126 
Mazzola, Joseph, 127-128 
missions, 40-46, 57-58 
Morocco. See missions. 
Morris, Mervin, 82, 135 
Mount Zion Hospital, 37-39, 96- 
98 

National Conference of Christians 

and Jews, 122 
National Jewish Democratic 

Council, 154 
Northern Californians for Good 

Government, 152 

ORT (Organization for 

Rehabilitation Through 
Training), 40-42 

Robinson, Mayor Elmer, 118-119 
Rosenberg, Claude, 81, 84 

San Francisco Chamber of Commerce , 

124 
San Francisco City and County 

Grand Jury, 122-124 
San Francisco City Parking 

Corporation, 126 



San Francisco Housing Authority, 

127-129 
San Francisco International Film 

Festival, 129-131 
San Francisco Public Library, 

141-143 
Sinton, Robert, 50, 51, 72, 75, 

81, 84 
Stanford University Judaic Studies 

Program, 133 

State of Israel Bonds, 105-106 
Steinhart, John, 40-46, 76, 90- 

91, 104 
Swig, Ben, 5-6, 8-10, 19, 26, 

104-106, 109-110, 119, 137, 159 
Swig, Charlotte Mailliard, 131, 

141-142, 161-162 

Swig, Dolores Cochrane , 160-162 
Swig, Fanny, 4, 6 
Swig, Kent, 6, 159 
Swig, Mae Aronovitz, 2, 27, 110 
Swig, Melvin M. , 

early years, 12 

education, 14-18 

employment, 28, 25-26, 28 

family, 20, 159-162 

fundraising, 107-108, 111-112, 
114, 121-122, 135, 139, 141- 
143, 145 

military service, 20-25 

philanthropy, 163-165 

politics, 152-158 
Swig, Richard, 12, 26, 106 
Swig, Robert, 159 
Swig, Simon, 4, 6-8 
Swig, Steven, 20, 105, 159 
Swing, Bishop William E. , 113- 

116, 165 

Treguboff, Sanford M. , 32, 81 

United Jewish Appeal, 89, 106-107 
United Way, 49, 71, 134 
USO, 139-141 

Weintraub, Louis, 32, 60-61, 76- 
77 



Eleanor K. Glaser 



Raised and educated in the Middle West. During World 
War II, spent two years in the U.S. Marine Corps Women's 
Reserve. 

Senior year of college was taken in New Zealand, consequently 
A.B. degree in sociology from University of Michigan was 
granted in absentia. Study in New Zealand was followed by a 
year in Sydney, Australia, working for Caltex Oil Company. 

Work experience includes such non-profit organizations as 
Community Service Society, New York City; National Society 
for Crippled Children and Adults and National Congress of 
Parents and Teachers in Chicago. 

After moving to California in 1966, joined the staff of a 
local weekly newspaper, did volunteer publicity for the 
Judah Magnes Museum and the Moraga Historical Society, and 
was the Bay Area correspondent for a national weekly newspaper, 
Also served as a history decent for the Oakland Museum. 

Additional travel includes Great Britain, Europe, Israel, 
Mexico, and the Far East. 



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U.C. BERKELEY LIBRARIES