Irene Goldman

b. 1911

Irene Goldman was born in New Bedford in 1911.  Irene’s mother and father worked together in a retail store in New Bedford.  However, they did not want their children to grow up in New Bedford and they moved to Brookline when Irene was young. Irene’s mother was a good businesswoman and continued to run the store after her husband’s death.  As a teenager, Irene was very social and had many boyfriends.  She studied literature at Mt. Ida Junior College, when she met Charles Goldman, a lawyer. They were married in 1934, when she was 23 and he was 32.  Irene raised their two sons, Dick and John, and took care of the home.  She also was an avid golfer and was very involved in the docent program at the Institute for Contemporary Art. Although they often attended services and events at Ohabei Shalom, Charles was a trustee at Temple Israel. At the time of the interview, Irene was 86 and her husband, Charles, was 95. 

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Scope and Content Note

Irene describes her parents’ lives, family history, and childhood in New Bedford and Brookline.  Irene explains that her mother did not want to raise the family in New Bedford, so they moved to Brookline, where the family joined Temple Israel, and Irene attended Sunday School.  Irene’s mother and father worked together in a retail store in New Bedford.  However, they did not want their children to grow up in New Bedford, and they moved to Brookline when Irene was young. Irene's mother was a good businesswoman and continued to run the store after her husband's death.  As a teenager, Irene was very social and had many boyfriends.  She remembers attending Mt. Ida Junior College, where she studied literature and met her husband, Charles Goldman, a successful lawyer.  Irene says that though they often attended services and events at Ohabei Shalom, Charles was a trustee at Temple Israel.  Irene and Charles raised two sons in the Boston area.  In addition to raising the children, Irene took literature courses and stayed active with volunteerism.  She lent her time and efforts to Jewish Child Welfare, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Institute of Contemporary Art, and Beth Israel Hospital.  Irene discusses the holidays her family celebrated and the Jewish customs they had in their home.  Finally, Irene reflects on her long and successful marriage, their family life together, and the impact of her volunteerism.  

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How to cite this page

Oral History of Irene Goldman. Interviewed by Helene Bailen. 20 December 1996. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on February 29, 2024) <http://jwa.org/oralhistories/goldman-irene>.

Oral History of Irene Goldman 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.