Davis, Jean L.
Interview Date
October 7, 1997
Respondent Zionist, born 9/24/24.
[T1S1] Respondent provides information on maternal (Russia) and paternal, (Roumania) grandparents. Respondent gives names of parents, their siblings and occupations; father had grocery store on Hill District, met mother there, married: 1911. Respondent notes father clever businessman; after birth of 1<sup>st</sup> child, family moved to Donora, PA., Respondent details family life in Donora; father's successful business ventures, mother excellent money manager, all children attended Hebrew school, 45 Jewish families in Donora, mother active in sisterhood of synagogue, chairman of sick and poor committee. Respondent notes other business ventures of father, worked until age of 85. Respondent explains when father was 64 years old, husband joined him in his business. Respondent lists names of 4 siblings, all remained in Donora through high school. Respondent notes attendance at college, 1 year; married Harry B. Davis, then completed degree at U. of Pittsburgh.: 1947. Respondent recalls meeting husband at Hebrew school in Donora; married 1943, husband in the Army, stayed extra year, discharged in 1946. R explains husband continued in National Guard Reserve, became General. Respondent gives names of 4 children, spouses, their careers. 12 grandchildren; comments on intermarriages of 2 children; notes family never vacationed together. Respondent details feelings about raising children today: "things come too easily, they do not appreciate what they have, parents and children live frenetic lives." Respondent provides names of parents, gives vivid description of Jewish life in Donora as a child, observance of Judaism and holidays.
[T1S2] Respondent continues description of Jewish life and mother's role in household; comments on her early fife with husband and children, notes she raised children to help unfortunate and to give service to the community. Respondent lists various organizations to which she belongs, positions held, most active in Na'amat; discusses their goals. Respondent describes travels to Israel several months a year to work as english tutor, her lack of fears, comments on culture and education; details visit to Auschwitz and experiences that occurred there. Respondent reminisces about mother and how she was motivated by her and learned from her: "Jews must help Jews."
[T2S3] Respondent comments on husband's involvements in Army; gives additional information on positions held; after service, husband became involved in selling bankrupt businesses, then became auctioneer. Respondent describes move to Pittsburgh., and how business became enlarged, Harry Davis Co.; now a partnership of 2 sons; details growth of company. Respondent discusses importance of women having their own careers and independence; must know how to provide for themselves. Respondent expresses her fears for her grandchildren: world complicated, too much outside influence and affluence. Respondent discusses upcoming trip, "Semester at Sea," University of Pittsburgh., 3<sup>rd</sup> trip, audits courses.
Davis, Harry B.; Donora (Pa.); Family life; Israel; Na'amat USA (Organization); City and town life; Jews--Social life and customs; Zionism
Birth Date
Pittsburgh, PA
Occupation (father)
Length (hours)
Herzog, Bernice
Herzog, Marvin
Berger, Betty
Collateral Materials
Box 101 FF 6
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