Samuel Berman

Samuel Berman 3/15/1887-7/29/1961

Family- Spouse: Mary

Sam and his wife, Mary, were Lithuanian immigrants. When he first arrived in Durham in the early 1900s, Berman moved in with the Gordons and then brought down his fiancée, Mary. They were married at the Gordon home and lived there for a time.

The couple eventually opened stores in Durham and then in Chapel Hill, commuting by wagon between them. They eventually made Chapel Hill their home, becoming the first permanent Jewish residents of the town in 1916. Over the years, they became mainstays of the Chapel Hill Jewish community, often boarding Jewish students. In 1923, the couple moved from a small wooden shop into a two-story brick store.

In the mid 40's when the synagogue was financially hard-pressed, Berman offered to buy property for the synagogue. At his death, the Durham Morning Herald described his good humor. He was very quiet, a gentleman.