Sara Dalkowitz Kaplan

b. 1926

Beloved veteran Seattle teacher and civil rights activist Sara Kaplan grew up in Pearsall, Texas.  As the only Jewish child in her county, her parents drove her 50-plus miles to attend Sunday School each week at San Antonio's Reform Congregation.  Sara graduated from high school as the newspaper editor, a 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.  In 1950 Sara married Seymour Kaplan.  They raised two children, and for 25 years, Sara taught social studies and debate at Rainier Beach and Franklin High Schools.  Active in Democratic Party politics since high school, Sara has spent her life fighting for social justice.  She has served as president of B‘Nai B'rith Women, vice president of Brandeis University National Women's Committee, on the board of the Anti-Defamation League, and as an active member of the NAACP and Seattle Urban League.  In 1995 the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle recognized her efforts, establishing the Sara Kaplan Award for Outstanding Community Service in her honor.

Scope and Content Note

Sarah discusses her Jewish upbringing in Texas and life as the only Jewish kid in town.  She details her high school and college experiences, including her time on the debate team.  Sara discusses her work for Hillel and remembers meeting her husband.  Kaplan remembers her friends and highlights her move from Omaha to Seattle, where she had her children and appreciated the Democratic political climate.  She discusses her work with the Democratic Party and her belief in rights for the Black community.  Kaplan then discusses her experiences with antisemitism and her work for various Jewish organizations in Seattle.  She talks about her passion for political organizing and social justice work.  Sarah continues by highlighting her teaching in Seattle and the pride she has in her family and their political involvement.  She ends by discussing her support for Israel and her values.


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How to cite this page

Oral History of Sara Dalkowitz Kaplan. Interviewed by Roz Bornstein. 4 December 2002. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on April 19, 2024) <>.

Oral History of Sara Dalkowitz Kaplan 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