Davis, Jacob
Interview Date
April 27, 1974
Davis, Jacob, a diamond merchant who has been active in the Jewish community of Pittsburgh, including his service as president of the Red Star of David and the United Jewish Fund; birth year, 1897;
[T1S1] parents' emigration from Russia; family background in Russia; parents' meeting in Pittsburgh, PA; their courtship and marriage; number of siblings in his family; education at Forbes School; family residences in the city; his mother founds the Hebrew National Hospital Aid Society; the purpose of the society; atmosphere in parent's home; siblings' educations and careers; education, Harvard University; views about Harvard; the importance of giving in his family; recollections of his youth in Pittsburgh; attending Rodef Shalom Sunday School; his father's affiliation with Beth Emet; his parents' involvement with B'nai Israel; some history of B'nai Israel;
[T1S2] the social hall at B'nai Israel named for his mother; his involvement in the Zionist Society in college; his courtship and marriage; his social life after marriage; family vacations; his wife's death; becoming a Reconstructionist of Judaism; his service as president of B'nai Israel; fundraising for the Jewish Theological Seminary; his family's arrival in the United States in the late 1860's;
[T2S3] education, Forbes School, Liberty School, Peabody High School, and Harvard University; background information on his wife, Florence; his presidency of the Red Star of David; his views about Judaism; former president, United Jewish Fund in the 1940s; discussion of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies; description of his mother; her fundraising for Montefiore Hospital; the founding of the Council of Jewish Education; principles of the Council of Jewish Education;
[T2S4] the death of Dr. Maurice Taylor; Dr. Maurice Taylor's policy toward education; his views about the Bar Mitzvah, Rodef Shalom's Sunday School, and the Hebrew language; the establishment of the College of Jewish Studies; his views about the need for supporting Jewish education; his service as president of United Jewish Fund, 1951; his courtship and marriage to Mildred Claster; her love of oil paintings; their art collection and vacations together;
[T3S5] description of Mildred; recollections of WWI, Prohibition and the depression; political affiliation; his diamond business during WWII; diamond purchasing trips to Europe;
[T3S6] recollections of WWII; changes in the Jewish community of Pittsburgh; changes in attitudes toward child raising; his views about keeping the Synagogue as the focal point of the Jewish community; views about the United Jewish Federation; views about the Pittsburgh Jewish community; discussion of his children's lives and families;
[T4S7] comparison of his upbringing with that of his children and grandchildren; discussion of his siblings lives and careers; his affiliation with Rodef Shalom Temple; discussion of Montefiore Hospital and his mother's role in fundraising for the hospital; changes in the city of Pittsburgh;
[T4S8] views about his successes and failures; philosophy of life.
Council of Jewish Education; Jews--Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh; Philanthropists; Charities; Taylor, Maurice; United Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. Renaissance Project
Birth Date
Occupation (father)
Dairy Farmer
Length (hours)
Sussman, Minnie
Collateral Materials
Box 101 FF 5
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