Clementine Kaufman

b. 1924

A tireless advocate for social justice, Clementine L. Kaufman was born in 1924 in Baltimore County.  The daughter of Rabbi Morris Lazaron of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, Clem lost her mother when she was eight years old.  Cared for by a series of governesses as a child, she gradually assumed a central role in running their busy household.  As a young woman, Clem traveled extensively.  She was exposed to many non-Jewish religious leaders and internationally known public figures whom her father knew through his leadership in the National Conference of Christians and Jews.  While still a student at Goucher College, Clem married Frank Kaufman in 1945, a lawyer and later a federal judge.  After their children, Frank Jr. and Peggy, Clem devoted herself to raising her family and volunteer work.  She later earned a master's degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland School of Social Work and focused her work life on alternative educational institutions for girls.  Clem's passion for learning continues in her retirement, and she is currently working on writing several books.

Scope and Content Note

Clem discusses her childhood in Baltimore and life as the daughter of a rabbi.  Clem spent a year in Switzerland and recalls being introduced to politics there as a child.  Clem talks about her relationship with her father and tells stories about high school and travel.  She tells the story of meeting her husband and talks about her college experiences.  Clem also discusses volunteer work and racial integration in Baltimore.  She discusses her children, married life, and eventual decision to become a social worker.  Clem details her work in the juvenile justice field and discrimination of all sorts.  Finally, Clem talks about the death of her husband and how Baltimore has changed since she grew up there. 

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How to cite this page

Oral History of Clementine Kaufman. Interviewed by Jean Freedman. 16 March 2002. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on February 26, 2024) <http://jwa.org/oralhistories/kaufman-clementine>.

Oral History of Clementine Kaufman 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.