Interviewed by Susie Pappas
June 27, 2019
Max M. Fisher Federation Building
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.
Doreen speaks about becoming involved with ORT and the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW). She talks about working with the Orchards Children’s Services. She became active in the Jewish Federation and became Campaign Chair of the Women’s Division. Doreen talks about call-a-thons and her memories of door-to-door soliciting. She talks about overcoming her fear of public speaking. She concludes the interview speaking about why Women’s Philanthropy is important to her, hopes for the future, her daughter Marcie Orley, and the impact Federation made on her.
Doreen Hermelin was born in Detroit in 1939. She was married to David B. Hermelin (z”l) for 42 years. Appointed by President Clinton in 1997, the Hermelins served as U.S. Ambassadors to Norway until resigning in January 2000. They are recipients of the Ambassador’s Award from the Norwegian Ambassador to the United States.
Mrs. Hermelin is also a recipient of the awards from State of Israel Bonds, B’nai B’rith, Yad Ezra, United Foundation, and Women’s American ORT, as well as Federation’s Butzel Award.
Hermelin served as campaign chair and president of the Women’s Division of the Jewish Federation as well as general campaign chair of Federation. Her volunteer activities have also included Israel Bonds, Orchards Children Services, ORT, and Hermelin-Davidson Center for Congregational Excellence.
Credit as: Leonard N. Simons Jewish Community Archives. Doreen Hermelin Oral History Interview, June 27, 2019.