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Bridges, Clara, February 11, 2022


Scope and Contents

Clara introduces her parents. She recalls the strong faith of both her parents. Clara explains why she decided to join The Temple after her mother’s death. She recounts how Rabbi Rothschild and the congregation welcomed her. Clara talks about her continued faith. She remembers changes at The Temple over the years. Clara talks about her close relationship with her siblings and their children. She describes how her faith helped her in her career as a nurse. She details her army service. Clara shares memories of her relationships with other synagogue members.


  • February 11, 2022

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Biographical / Historical

Clara Evelyn Bridges was born in Atlanta on March 24, 1921 to Reverend Jeremiah H. Bridges (1893-1979) and Lizzie Mae Hudson Bridges (1898-1966), both Atlanta natives. She was one of nine children, including one sister, Jeanette, who is still alive as of 2022 at the age of 104. Her father was a Methodist preacher and her mother was a homemaker of Ethiopian Jewish descent, and the family was raised in the Christian faith. Ms. Bridges graduated from high school, college, and nursing school in Atlanta and worked as a nurse at Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta. In 1944, she entered the United States Army where she served as a nurse, stationed near Chicago, Illinois, and at Camp Beale near Marysville, California.

Her mother passed away at the age of 67 in Atlanta, and through her grief, Ms. Bridges found the Temple and Rabbi Jacob M. Rothschild. Due to her mother's Jewish ancestry, Ms. Bridges was welcomed into the Temple community with open arms and with no pressure to convert. She has become a close friend of all of the Senior Rabbis of the Temple since Rabbi Rothschild, and is a beloved figure in the congregation.

At the time of this interview, Ms. Bridges was 100 years old, just one month shy of turning 101.


From the Collection: 15 Terabytes

Language of Materials



Clara Bridges interviewed by Nat Gozansky on February 10, 2022 at the Breman Museum in Atlanta, Georgia.





Repository Details

Part of the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum Repository

1440 Spring St. NW
Atlanta Georgia 30309 United States