Louis and Phyllis Tanenbaum

Phyllis Karesh Tanenbaum was born in Charleston on April 19, 1926, the second child of Alex Karesh and Leslie Feinberg Karesh. Leslie’s mother was originally from Fall River, Massachusetts where her family was very active in the Jewish community. Her father served as President of his synagogue for many years. He owned a company that manufactured luggage and steamer trunks. Alex Karesh was a merchant who owned and operated shoe stores on "upper" King Street. His father's family, Charles and Sara Karesh, came to Charleston before the turn of the 20th century from Greelyville, S.C. 

Phyllis attended public schools in Charleston, including Memminger High School, and then attended the University of Georgia and graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1946. She is a member of Hadassah, the Council of Jewish Women, Sisterhood Emanu El, and is active in the Charleston Jewish Federation. 

Louis Myer Tanenbaum was born in Columbia, S.C. on July 25, 1917. He was the third of four children of Nathan Tanenbaum and Rose Orenstein Tanenbaum. His maternal grandfather, Jacob Orenstein, was from Columbia and active in the Jewish community there. His father’s family was from Augusta, Ga. Upon his father’s passing, Louis and his family moved to Knoxville, Tennessee and then later to Newton, N.C. where he graduated high school. 

At the age of 20, Louis and his sister Ann's husband, Louis Lesser, opened a men's store on King Street in Charleston. While in business, Louis pursued his education, taking coursework at the College of Charleston, North Carolina State and the Citadel. He left Charleston to serve in World War II, and upon returning resumed running the business that he helped establish. The store remained active for 62 years until Louis retired in 2000. 

Throughout his career, Louis was active in his community. He served as president of Dan Lodge B’nai B’rith, President of the Charleston Lions Club, President of the Retail Merchants Association, Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce, and Chairman of the Charleston Chapter of the American Red Cross. He was active in the Community Chest, which was the predecessor to the United Way, a member of the Boy Scout Council, and a board member of State Savings and Loan and South Carolina Federal Savings Bank. 

Both Phyllis and Louis are also Charter Members of Synagogue Emanu-El.