An Article Published this Week in Niv Magazine
Norman Hamburg lives his life in the Saint John, New Brunswick Jewish tradition.
“My family story mirrors many other Jewish families in the city,” he explained with a clear, methodical voice during our phone interview.
At 77 years old, Hamburg has lived in Saint John since he was five weeks old.
“I’m one of the three Hamburg boys. I knew I would be the one to take over the family business and my leaning was to do business as I got a commerce degree at university. I just knew I’d come back,” Hamburg recalled.
In 1967, he joined his parent’s clothing store, Dreskin’s, which sold women’s wear. A year later, he opened his own store location, and in 1976, he took it over when his parents retired. His family business was like many other Jewish families who first immigrated to Saint John, as most began work as peddlers and tailors, slowly growing their businesses over time to become a vibrant part of the city’s culture and tour de force in the local economy.
From 1920 to the early 1960s the Jewish community was at the height of its power with 250 to 300 families in the city.
Hamburg remembered not being able to find seats on the High Holy Days.