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Ben Robinson - oral history transcribed

Jan 7 1974 - private collection

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Thank you to David Robinson for the article
Note: "My grandfather, David Robinson, emigrated from Russia in 1892 with his two oldest children, Max and Abraham. This enabled the boys to escape the Russian draft of 25 years. They came to Portland, where he had relatipves. In 1895, his wife, Etta, and his other seven children (Ida, Rose, Morris, Jake, Hyman, Sam. Ben). David was a ultra-orthodox Hasidic Jew. His children, although strongly identifying as Jewish, drifted away from his orthodoxy, particularly those who arrived at a younger age. From about age 6, Ben started selling newspapers on a corner. His savings from his entrepeneurial activities enabled him to go to Harvard (Tuition $100) In 1911, even so, he spent his freshman year with his sister Ida in Worcester, and took .the inter urban trolley forty miles into Boston every day. After his Freshman year, he moved to digs in Boston. The memoir is essentially about his life in Portland. After graduating in 1915, he went to Montreal, where three of his brothers had established a business. They helped him to go to McGill Law School, He established a law partnership with Joe Shapiro in 1922, and married in 1923. He was very active in Jewish Community affairs, being VP of the Canadian Jewish Congress, President of the Jewish Immigrant Aid Society, among other activities settling European Jews. He became the second Jewish judge appointed in the Province of Quebec around 1955. Of his three children, Elaine (95) lives in Vancouver, I (93) live in New York, and Jon (91), who joined the law firm in 1952, is in Monreal. Ben was very close with his sister Rose’s son Albert (Jim) Abrahamson, who had a distinguished academic and political career. Jim was the first Jewish faculty member of Bowdoin, but took leaves to perform public service, and ended up as Dean of the College." - David Robinson, son
Links to People: :  Ben Robinson ; Max Leavitt; Sam Robinson; Hyman Robinson; Morris Robinson; Max Robinson; David Robinson; Jacob Robinson;

:   Rosie Robinson Abrahamson   ;   Jim Abrahamson   ;   Lazarus Abrahamson   ;   Frank Kumin   ;   Ida Robinson Kumin   ;   Jacob Cohen   ;
Related organizations:   Casco National Bank;  Harvard University;  Robinson Hall, Middle St, Portland;  YMHA Portland;