My mother's parents emigrated around 1900 from the Jewish Pale of what is now Belarus and settled in Pittsburgh, PA. Her father David Sigel (Sigelovytch) was an office worker, insurance salesman, and political activist in the immigrant foreign language clubs. Her mother Hannah Lipman (Goldotsky) was fluent in Russian, Hebrew, Yiddish, and English. She was active in the clubs and worked as a secretary and translator.
In 1919, the family moved to New York where mom graduated from Evander Childs High School in 1931 and New York University College of Education in 1935.