[by Shiela Steinman Wallace]
The fact that former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis was a native son of Louisville and its Jewish community has always been a source of pride. His memory is honored at the University of Louisville, where the School of Law bears his name.
But what about his childhood home?
When Andrew Segal took a tour of Jewish Louisville with Kesher Kentucky in 2010, Alan Steinberg took the group by the building at 310 E. Broadway. Steinberg lamented that the structure, which now houses doctors’ offices, had no marker identifying its significance.
Before the tour was done, Segal made the commitment to lead the effort to get a historical marker, and on December 2, his three-year quest was completed and the marker was unveiled.
When he began his efforts, Segal was a sophomore at duPont Manual High School; today, he is a freshman at the University of Louisville and a Harlan Scholar. He is pursuing an undergraduate degree in political science and plans to go to law school.
With significant help from his mother, Joanne Weeter, and Steinberg, Segal navigated the historical marker approval process and raised the $2300 necessary to complete the project. He had significant community support along the way.
In addition to Segal, Nelson Dawson from the Kentucky Historical Society; Allan Steinberg; Daniel Carey, president
and CEO of Historic Savannah Foun-dation; Laura Rothstein, former dean of the Brandeis School of Law; Charles B. Tachau, Brandeis’ great nephew; and Rabbi Joe Rooks Rapport from The Temple spoke at the unveiling. Chris Hartman also presented a theatrical portrayal of Louis D. Brandeis and the building was open for tours and refreshments.
The two-sided marker reads: Louis D. Brandeis Home. Built in 1864, this was the boyhood home of first Jewish U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis. It was here, in his formative years, that Brandeis developed the democratic social philosophy that would later be reflected in his own reform activities. It was in this house, at the age of nine, that he taught a slave to read and write.
Louis D. Brandeis (1856-1941). Brandeis believed in honoring the people who helped him succeed. During his 23 years on the bench, he stayed interested in his home town. His influence, and gifts of money & personal papers, stimulated growth of the Univ. of Louisville Law School. He named collections after former high school teachers.