Rebecca Benaroya

b. 1923

A renowned community leader and philanthropist, Becky Benaroya and her family extend the love and generosity she learned as a child. Born and raised in Seattle’s Sephardic Jewish community, Becky is devoted to Seattle’s elderly populations, the city’s Symphony and arts programs, and the preservation of her Sephardic heritage. She and her husband Jack raised three children. Active in the Jewish and larger Seattle community, her life continues to grace the civic, cultural, Jewish, and family life in the city she loves.

Scope and Content Note

Benaroya describes growing up in Seattle, the daughter of Turkish immigrants.  She has a particularly close relationship with her grandfather and says that he was a role model.  She remembers the Jewish holidays and Sephardic traditions that her family celebrated, especially their food on special occasions.  Benaroya talks about meeting her husband Jack in high school, being pregnant with her first child, and her husband being called into service in World War II.  After the war, Rebecca, Jack, and their three children moved to Cleveland for Jack’s business but moved back to Seattle in 1956.  She reflects on gender roles and expectations for women to stay home and take care of the children.  Rebecca became involved in the community through Hadassah and the arts through the Pilchuck School. Throughout the interview, Rebecca reflects on her marriage and credits its success to open communication and compromise.  She also talks about her grandchildren, the joys of being a grandmother, and how parenting has changed over generations.

 

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How to cite this page

Oral History of Rebecca Benaroya. Interviewed by Roz Bornstein. 17 July 2001. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on May 22, 2024) <http://jwa.org/oralhistories/benaroya-rebecca>.

Oral History of Rebecca Benaroya by the Jewish Women's Archive is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://jwa.org/contact/OralHistory.