Our oral history project has been ongoing for years. At first, DJHS volunteers used pencils and paper to record answers to their rather free-wheeling questions. As time passed, the process was refined: we started using tape recorders, later graduating to video; we began training our interviewers and provided a template of questions to guide them, to assure that essential information was included along with personal stories. Throughout, the emphasis has always been on Jewish backgrounds and involvements.
Trying to "standardize" this variety of interviews has been a slow difficult challenge! First there was the matter of transcribing all written notes and taped materials so everything could be read and properly edited for publication; this required several readings of each interview to assure that all essentials were included, that repetitions were eliminated, that dares and places and spellings were accurate, that identifications were as complete as possible. All the interviews were scanned by many, many eyes and passed through many, many hands before they reached the form that you hold in your hands today.
We hope you are pleased. We know there are some omissions and many inconsistencies in length, style and type of information included, but please remember as you read that this book is the product of much attention and even more love, representing our very best efforts with such a wide variety of material. Accept it as it is, and enjoy meeting each of the varying individuals included in its pages, as we continue with our gathering of ever more oral histories for future compilations.
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