After a distinguished career as a professor and scholar of the Dead Sea Scrolls, my grandfather Ben Zion Wacholder hoped that his final book would be his memoirs. He had a remarkable story to tell, beginning with his childhood in a Polish shtetl called Ozerow, his life as a Christian living in Poland and Germany during World War II, and eventually his immigration to the United States, where he married, had four children and fourteen grandchildren, earned Rabbinical ordination and a doctorate, and became a beloved professor at Hebrew Union College as well as a preeminent figure in the study and publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Sometime around 1990, my Zayde began the project of telling his life story, but he only wrote the first two chapters.
One of my Zayde’s favorite pieces of advice for his grandchildren (and everyone else) was to learn something new every day. I can think of no better way to honor his legacy, and to come to understand my own origins, than by attempting to tell his story.
With the help of many family members, I have edited the existing two chapters of his memoirs. Over the coming months I will supplement these two chapters with documentation of his personal and academic life.
If you knew Ben Zion Wacholder and have any additional stories, comments, or corrections, or if you have any questions about this project please contact me at BZWacholderMemories[at]Gmail[dot]com.