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FIND OUT: the connection between a South Bend dealership & a notorious Chicago businessman
Anne Feferman shares a fascinating story of her family's business in South Bend.
Building upon the success of our first ever Finding South Bend’s Jewish History scavenger hunt, we bring you a series of stories told firsthand by community members whose families were instrumental in building South Bend’s Jewish-owned businesses and institutions.
Feferman Cadillac Oldsmobile (formerly Feferman Motors) was a General Motors dealership owned by the Feferman family. The dealership stood here from 1928 and was owned by the family until the late 1970s. It was one of several Jewish-owned car dealerships in South Bend.
Watch the video below to find out the connection between Feferman Cadillac Oldsmobile and a notorious Chicago businessman.
Four Feferman brothers, Max, Ben, Ruben, and Jacob, were involved in the business. Henry Feferman, Ben's son, would later take over the business and was prominent in the local and statewide Jewish community from the time he was in high school through adulthood.
The photo shown here is from a visit President Franklin D. Roosevelt made to South Bend and was used by Ben Feferman for his Christmas card in 1935-36. The vehicle pictured in the photo is a Cadillac and was specifically designed to hide President Roosevelt’s leg braces. All four Feferman brothers are in this photo, with Ben, standing in front, holding his hat. At the time, Feferman was spelled both with one or two “f’s.” Note that President Roosevelt, who wanted to keep his polio hidden from the American public, is being held up by the man standing next to him.
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