Biographical Note

Scope and Content

General Notes

Digital Content/Other Formats

Restrictions on Access

Restrictions on Use

Acquisition Info

Subject Terms


Preliminary Guide to the Leo Azose Oral History Interview



Manuscript Collection No.: 3286
Accession No.: 3286-001
Creator: Azose, Leo , creator
Title: Leo Azose oral history interview
Date Span: 1982
Quantity: 3 sound cassettes; transcript: 49 pages
Languages: Collection materials are in English.




Biographical Note

Leo Azose immigrated to the United States from Turkey with his family in 1913. They travelled from Ellis Island to Seattle where Azose attended Pacific School. After a year in public school, he went to work as a jeweler's apprentice at Mayer Brothers. Schooling continued at night at the Settlement House. After stints in logging, grocery, and the butcher trades, he settled into jewelry eventually owning Leo Azose & Sons Jewelers.

Scope and Content

Tape recorded interview and transcript conducted by Howard Droker on 31 Mar 1982.

Azose recounts the story of his family's life in Marmara, Turkey, and especially his father's career as a rabbi in Marmara and Seattle, Washington. Rabbi Solomon Azose immigrated to Seattle in 1911 to join his eldest daughter, Fortuna Halfon. With the aid of Ashkenazic Bikur Cholim, the Sephardic community began organizing itself as a religious group, with Rabbi Azose as haham. Rabbi Azose sent for the remainder of his family, with all of them arriving by 1913. Leo Azose discusses his emigration and his first impressions of Seattle. He describes his father as haham of the entire Sephardic community until 1915 or 1916 and the purchase of the synagogue at 13th and Washington where his father served as rabbi of Sephardic Bikur Holim. He discusses the split-off of the Sephardim from Rhodes, who formed Congregation Ezra Bessaroth. He speaks briefly about the families that formed Ahavath Achim and that congregation's subsequent merger with Bikur Holim. He discusses failed attempts to merge Bikur Holim and Ezra Bessaroth, especially those of the 1960s. Azose also reminisces about Rabbi Avraham Maimon and his family, including the future rabbi Solomon Maimon. He recalls his own work history in the grocery and butcher business and the jewelry trade. He briefly describes the Sephardic community's arrangement to bring Rabbi Isidore Kahan to Seattle as rabbi of both congregations - and Bikur Holim's dissatisfaction with that arrangement. He discusses the decision to build a synagogue at 20th and Fir streets in Seattle, and the difficulties of financing construction during the Depression. He talks about Sephardic Talmud Torah and tells of the problems in bringing Reverend Samuel Benaroya to Seattle as Bikur Holim's cantor. Azose closes with mention of Bikur Holim's relations with other Seattle synagogues and Sephardic bootleggers during Prohibition.

General Notes

Forms part of the Washington State Jewish Archives

Digital Content/Other Formats

Access to streaming MP3 files of this oral history and PDF of the transcript are available by following this link.

Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use

Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info

Donated by Leo Azose, 5/1/1982.


Subject Terms

Personal Names:
Azose, Itzhak.
Azose, Leo--Archives.
Azose, Nessim.
Azose, Solomon.
Behar, David J.
Benaroya, Samuel, 1908-
Caston, Joseph.
Cordova, Marco.
DeLeon, Haim.
Droker, Howard, creator.
Levy, Albert.
Magnuson, Warren Grant, 1905-
Maimon, Avraham.
Maimon, Solomon, 1919-
Muscatel, Morris.
Peha, Ness.
Policar, Jacob.
Sharhon, Morris.
Organizations:
Ahavath Achim Congregation (Seattle, Wash.)
Congregation Bikur Cholim Machzikay Hadath (Seattle, Wash.)
Jewish Archives (University of Washington), creator.
Sephardic Bikur Holim Congregation (Seattle, Wash.)
Subjects:
Jews--Washington (State)--Seattle.
Jews--Washington (State)--Seattle--Interviews.
Sephardim--Washington (State)--Seattle.
Last modified: September 26, 2013
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