Darryl Bloom

b. 1946

Darryl Bloom was born in Chicago in 1946 and grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania. She attended Antioch College in Ohio and graduated from Connecticut College with a degree in elementary education in 1970. After meeting and marrying her husband, Barney, the couple lived on a Kibbutz in Israel. After the young couple moved to Hawaii, Darryl began studying Judaism with a rabbi and decided to convert formally. For over twenty years, she has been a member of the Jewish community in central Vermont. Darryl volunteered in the religious school of Beth Jacob synagogue, where her daughters, Hannah and Deborah, celebrated their bat mitzvahs. 

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Scope and Content Note

Darryl describes her family background and childhood experiences growing up outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She remembers the small Jewish community there, witnessing the injustice of racial segregation, and spending Saturday mornings helping her mother arrange flowers in the nearby Presbyterian church. Darryl recounts her path to converting to Judaism at age twenty-five. She explains the impetus was meeting her husband, Barney, who was Jewish. After they were married, Darryl and Barney lived on a kibbutz in Israel. She recalls being impressed by the hardworking women of the kibbutz. She was also moved by the antiquity of Jerusalem and the power of the Wailing Wall. After the couple moved to Hawaii, Darryl began studying Judaism more earnestly with a group of women there. Realizing a Jewish home life was important to her husband, she decided to convert. After moving to Vermont, Darryl was eager to build and connect with a Jewish community there and got involved in the Beth Jacob synagogue school, where her daughters attended. Her early experiences during the Civil Rights Movement led to her commitment to social justice. As a school counselor, Darryl has worked to promote tolerance and understanding among students and the community. Thanks to Darryl and other community members, Montpelier schools now have a clear policy about teaching and celebrating religion. Darryl went to Nicaragua with Planting Hope, an organization supported by central Vermonters to improve education, support grassroots initiatives, and foster cultural exchanges. In 2009, Daryl began teaching at the Family Center of Washington County, providing educational services for preschoolers and their families. 

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How to cite this page

Oral History of Darryl Bloom. Interviewed by Ann Buffum. 15 August 2005. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on February 23, 2024) <http://jwa.org/oralhistories/bloom-darryl>.

Oral History of Darryl Bloom 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.