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Organizations and Institutions

Dorothy Wittenberg

A tireless and loyal volunteer for Jewish causes and Sisterhood, Dorothy Wittenberg initiated and planned, prepared and served the Ida Weinstein Luncheon at Council House for over 25 years. Born in Denver, Colorado, Dorothy grew up in one of the only Jewish families in Tacoma, Washington. After her father’s death in 1933, when she was 17, she and her mother moved to Richmond, California where they sold retail clothes and cosmetics in an uncle’s department store and Dorothy attended UC Berkeley.

Reva Ketzlach Twersky

A medical social worker and community service volunteer, Reva Twersky works for both Jewish and secular organizations to serve those in need. Born and raised in Seattle, Reva’s grandparents and parents, leaders within the Ashkenazic Orthodox community, instilled a love of family and community in her. Reva received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology in 1945 and a Masters of Social Work Degree in 1968. For many years Reva worked at the University of Washington’s Medical Center as a Social Worker, Clinical Faculty Member, and Assistant Professor. With her boundless energy, Reva also volunteered for numerous Jewish and civic organizations. She and Meyer Twersky married in 1946 and had three children. Although she is officially “retired,” Reva continues to be a very committed and active volunteer.

Althea Diesenhaus Stroum

Born in 1922 in New York City, Althea
moved to Seattle with her family at age 14 in 1936. Married for 58 years to Samuel N. Stroum, they had two children, and together dedicated their lives to philanthropy and community service. Althea received the Israel Bond Woman of the Year award in 1980. In 1991, the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle honored her by creating the Althea Stroum Woman of Distinction Award. In 2000 she received an honorary doctorate from Brandeis University. She is a member of many community and national boards, serving both the Jewish and larger communities with her energetic devotion.

Magda Altman Schaloum

Holocaust survivor Magda Altman Schaloum speaks out on behalf of all Holocaust survivors and their families. Born and raised in Hungary, she endured acts of antisemitism throughout her childhood, and in 1944 and 1945 Magda was sent to several concentration camps. She lost both her parents and her brother. Magda met her husband, Isaac Schaloum, in a Displaced Persons Camp in Germany. Isaac was from Salonika, Greece. They emigrated to Seattle in 1950, where Isaac became a tailor and businessman, and they raised three children. Although of Hungarian descent, Magda became an active and beloved member of Seattle’s Sephardic community. She volunteers for many Jewish organizations, including the Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center, and continues to bear witness to the horrors of hatred and antisemitism.

Mildred Hardin Rosenbaum

A social worker, teacher, and political activist, Mildred Rosenbaum worked for many Jewish and secular organizations to improve the quality of life for those less fortunate. Mildred was born and raised in Greenwood, Mississippi. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology in 1942 from the University of Minnesota, Mildred moved to New York where she worked for several Jewish organizations. She married Harold Rosenbaum in 1945 and they worked with various Zionist groups to support the creation of the State of Israel. They moved to Seattle in 1953. Over the years Mildred and Harold have raised one child of their own, and provided housing to forty-two foreign exchange students. Mildred works to ensure all people can live in peace, safety, and dignity.

Ann Lustig Nieder

An energetic social reformer, Ann Lustig Nieder worked for both Jewish and secular organizations throughout her life. Born to Ashkenazic parents, Ann grew up on Capitol Hill in Seattle. In 1945, she received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Washington in Nursing. She married Lawrence Nieder, a businessman, in 1946. They had four children. Once her children were school age, Ann devoted a large part of her life to volunteer activities in the Seattle community, serving as President of Temple De Hirsch Sinai Sisterhood, Brandeis Women’s Committee, National Council of Jewish Women, and the Washington State Jewish Historical Society. Volunteer work helps define Ann’s life, and currently she provides guidance on committees for the University of Washington.

Dorothy Franco Muscatel

A vibrant social organizer, Dorothy Franco Muscatel was born in Seattle in 1917 to parents who, in 1910, were among the first Sephardic Jews to immigrate to Seattle from Rhodes, Greece. Her parents and grandmother were instrumental in creating important Seattle Jewish institutions, including the Sephardic cemetery. Dorothy learned from their example. Her achievements include helping form Seattle chapters for The City of Hope and Guide Dogs for the Blind; and service as president of the Seattle Sephardic Sisterhood and Sephardic Bikur Holim Ladies' Auxiliary. Married to Jack Muscatel and mother of three, Dorothy continued to shine the light of her family and herself on Seattle’s Jewish and secular communities until her death on December 26, 2003.

Sara Kaplan

Veteran Seattle teacher and civil rights activist, Sara Dalkowitz Kaplan grew up in Pearsall, TX. Sara graduated from high school as the newspaper editor, champion debater, class president and valedictorian. She later earned a B.A. in political science at the University of Texas, an M.A. in economics from Columbia University, and her teaching certificate. Active in Democratic Party politics since high school, Sara spent her life fighting for social justice: she served as president of B'Nai B'rith Women, Vice President of Brandeis University National Women's Committee, a board member of the Anti-Defamation League, and an active member of the NAACP and Seattle Urban League.

Ann Meyers Kaplan

Ann Meyers Kaplan’s family moved to Seattle from New York City in 1910 when Ann was three. Her father opened a tailoring business in Pioneer Square. For Ann’s parents and many Russian émigrés like them, the Settlement House and the socialist-leaning Workmen’s Circle were centers of Jewish community life. A graduate of Garfield High School, Ann worked as a bookkeeper in Seattle, later moving to San Francisco. She returned to Seattle after eloping with Ben Kaplan in 1935, who wooed her long-distance for three years. For the next 50 years, Ann served as bookkeeper in his company. After their daughter lost her hearing at age three, Ann devoted much of her time to seeking experimental treatments, advocating for the hearing impaired, and raising a second child, a son.

Arva Gray

A Mormon convert to Judaism, Arva Davis Gray was a leader in the Seattle Jewish community and a self-described “kitchen Jew” who served as president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, as a member of the Boards of many local and national Jewish organizations, and was a founder of Bellevue’s Temple B‘Nai Torah. Trained as a nurse, she married Dr. Bernard Gray, with whom she raised two children from his previous marriage and two of their own. Arva spiced her life with Sephardic and Askenazic cooking learned from friends and neighbors, and with wisdom grounded in Judaism and a broad, humane outlook. Arva also devoted her energies to her four children and to her grandchildren. Arva Gray died on June 14, 2010.

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Organizations and Institutions." (Viewed on September 22, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/organizations-and-institutions>.

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