Women in Leadership

This collection documents the history of the Women’s Philanthropy department of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit through the personal recollection and reflection of women who served as a president, campaign chair and staff members. The stories explore the role of women in leadership positions and the events that shaped Women’s Philanthropy since its inception in 1946.


Roz Blanck

In this oral history Roz Komisar Blanck talks about growing up in a community where most people were Jewish.

Penny Blumenstein

The interview with Penny Blumenstein begins with a discussion of her childhood, including her schools, family and how religion was observed in her house. She discusses how her affiliation with Jewish organizations including Hadassah and ORT, and how she became involved with the Jewish Federation Women’s Philanthropy.

Ruth Broder

In this oral history interview, Ruth Broder talks about growing up in a German Reform environment where she went to Sunday school and knew about the holidays, but her family was very liberal. She remembers philanthropy always being a part of her family, especially her mother. She remembers sitting in on meetings as a young girl, and her mother putting her into her first solicitation experience.

Susie Citrin

In this oral history interview, Susie Citrin talks about the importance of Women’s Philanthropy in her life.  She talks about joining B’nai B’rith Girls and AZA in high school.  She describes that it was when she married into a family that was a major donor of Federation that she got heavily involved.  She was able to go on a trip to Israel with her husband’s family that had a big impact on her.

Paula Glazier

In this oral history interview, Paula Glazier talks about her childhood.  She remembers being a member of Shaarey Zedek and the building on Chicago Blvd. being built.

Carolyn Greenberg

Carolyn Greenberg begins her oral history talking about growing up in Detroit and how her family observed their religion. She speaks about learning of the Jewish Federation through her mother, who was active.

Nancy Grosfeld

This interview begins with a discussion of Nancy’s early life, including her schooling and the beginning of her career in social work and nursing. She also discusses her family life, her religious upbringing and her parents’ charitable work.

Doreen Hermelin

Doreen Hermelin starts her interview talking about growing up in Detroit, where she lived and went to school. She also discusses how religion was observed in her household and her family belonging to Congregation B’nai Moshe.

Barbara Horowitz

The interview begins with Barbara discussing her childhood in Chicago, Illinois and her family’s religious observance. She discusses how she became active in BBYO because of her kids, which led to her involvement in the Jewish Federation.

Nancy Jacobson

In this oral history interview, Nancy Jacobson talks about growing up in a very small Jewish community in Benton Harbor, Michigan.


This project was made possible through the generous support of Susie Pappas, Dulcie Rosenfeld, and the Jewish Women’s Foundation of Metropolitan Detroit.

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The Archive prohibits use of the oral history interviews in any way that infringes on individual right to privacy or results in libelous statements or slander, in accordance with U.S. law.

Copyright to the recorded interview(s) and/or subsequent transcript(s) of such remains with the Leonard N. Simons Jewish Community Archives. Please use the following citation format:

© Leonard N. Simons Jewish Community Archives. [Name of Subject] Oral History Interview, [Date of Interview].