About this Collection

The Feinstein Center's oral history project consists of 48 interviews which were conducted by staff and volunteers between 1996 and 1999. They sought to capture and record the experiences of Jews who played a significant role in business, political, cultural, educational, philanthropic, and other aspects of the community,

About this Interview

Herbert Barness discusses his family history including his parents' immigration and farm and social life in the rural suburbs in the 20s, where he was one of two Jewish families living in Bucks County, and the effects of the Depression on his family's real estate business. He accounts his personal struggles during World War II, including his recruitment into the Army Air Force where he underwent training in engineering and meteorology to become a communications officer. Herbert recalls his involvement with US Steel, Levittown, and the Bucks County Industrial Development Corporation, which brought industry into the county. His work within the community includes the founding of Bucks County Community College, work with the Delaware Valley College of Science and Agriculture, and his development of international and Section Eight housing.

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Biographical / Historical Note

"Preserving the Voices of History: The Feinstein Center Jewish Philadelphia Oral History Project" gathered an oral history collection containing the memory of Jews who were central to the growth and development of the Philadelphia Jewish community. The project focused on interviewing Jews who contributed to the integration of Jews in the larger Philadelphia community and on women and how they have integrated being a woman and being Jewish in the twentieth century.

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Transcript Note

Note on ADA Compliance

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About This Collection

Myer and Rosaline Feinstein Center for American Jewish History Oral Histories

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The Feinstein Center for American Jewish History promotes the study of the of the Philadelphia Jewish community.
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