Lois Blum Feinblatt
Born in 1921 to Baltimore's Hoffberger family, Lois Blum Feinblatt has focused her professional career, volunteer efforts and philanthropy on providing mental health, adoption and mentoring services in Baltimore. Lois married Irving Blum in 1941 while still a student at Hood College. (She later graduated from Goucher College.) After the birth of their three children, Pat, Jeff, and Larry, Lois worked for the Baltimore City Department of Welfare for nine years, screening prospective adoptive parents. In the 1960s, she was one of eight women chosen for a special program at Johns Hopkins University to professionally train housewives as mental health counselors. As a therapist with a specialty in human sexuality, she joined the newly formed staff of the Hopkins Sexual Behaviors Consultation Unit, where she has worked for more than 30 years. After her husband died in 1973, Lois married lawyer, Eugene Feinblatt, with whom she shared a wonderful marriage for fifteen years. A true liberal politically and socially, Lois has been a thoughtful philanthropist both within and outside the Jewish community, focusing much of her attention on issues affecting children.
Lois B. Feinblatt was interviewed as part of the Weaving Women's Words oral history project in Baltimore, Maryland. She talks about her family background, growing up in Baltimore, and the segregation of Jews and Christians in the city. Lois shares her observances of the differences between the men and women in her family and the different expectations for boys and girls. She recalls her college years, then early marriage and motherhood when she was focused on her family and volunteer work. When Lois's first husband, Irving Blum, was drafted into World War II, they lived in an Army camp in Shreveport, Louisiana, where her first child was born. Irving was sent overseas to serve as an officer for Black troops. She remembers the challenges of being at home with a new baby while her husband was serving overseas. When Lois returned to work, her first job was with the Department of Welfare, working with prospective adoptive parents. In the 1960s, she trained to become a psychotherapist and began work at the Sexual Behaviors Consultation Unit at Johns Hopkins. Lois describes how attitudes towards sexuality were changing around this time. When Irving died in 1972, Lois married Eugene Feinblatt, a lawyer, who she was married to for fifteen years when he died. Lois reflects on her life as a widow. Finally, she discusses her Jewish practice and values, telling stories of childhood seders and Shabbat dinners, commenting on the Orthodox community in Baltimore, and the divisions between German and Russian Jews in the city.
How to cite this page
Oral History of Lois Blum Feinblatt. Interviewed by Jean Freedman. 21 March 2001. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on December 1, 2023) <https://jwa.org/oralhistories/feinblatt-lois>.
Oral History of Lois Blum Feinblatt 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.