Nancy Jacobson

Interviewed by Faye Wolf

September 26, 2018

Max M. Fisher Federation Building, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Nancy Jacobson
Video 00:47:04


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

Religion was important in her home and she remembers that her parents, along with a few others, founded a Reform temple in their neighborhood.  She talks about philanthropy in her home, starting with her mother’s involvement with Hadassah.

Jacobson speaks about some organizations she is active with outside of Federation, such as JARC, Weizmann Institute, and Israel Bonds. She talks about being asked to get involved with Federation and attending Communi-teas.   She mentions that her husband was also active in Federation, and he was in the Dental Division.  She talks about being a part of the first Miracle Mission, and a mission with their sons.  She mentions a mission to Czechoslovakia.

Next, Jacobson talks about the leadership training she went through, and the positions she held over the years.  She describes the Lion of Judah and explains her time teaching English to Russian immigrants.  She talks about her mentors and friends in Women’s Philanthropy.

Jacobson mentions receiving the American Fundraising Professionals Award in 2010.  She explains the importance of having Women’s Philanthropy in Federation and explains the ways in which she believes men and women solicit differently.  She also talks about the relationship between Women’s Philanthropy and the general campaign.  She mentions her hopes for Women’s Philanthropy in the future.

Finally, Jacobson speaks about a mission to Argentina, and meeting Henry Kissinger on the Prime Minister’s Mission.  She adds that her grandchildren are active in Federation on the Teen Board.

History of Narrator

Nancy Jacobson was born in Benton Harbor, Michigan. She obtained a BA in English Literature at Michigan State University.

As part of Federation Women’s Department, Nancy was co-chair of the Ruby Committee, a member of the Endowment Committee, Lion of Judah Affinity Committee, Campaign Leadership Committee, and Jewish Community Endowment Fund Steering Committee. She was also on the Board of Directors for the Women’s Department and served as its Campaign Chair.

For her involvement with Israel Bonds, she received the “Sweetness of Life Award” in 2004.

She and her husband Joseph have two children.


Important Subjects

  • Lion of Judah
  • Michigan Miracle Mission
  • Women's Division/Women's Philanthropy

Important Names

  • Amy Neistein
  • Carolyn Greenberg
  • Diane Klein
  • Dulcie Rosenfeld
  • Edythe Jackier
  • Henry Kissinger
  • Michael Feldman
  • Nancy Grosfeld
  • Shirley Harris

Credit as: Leonard N. Simons Jewish Community Archives. Nancy Jacobson Oral History Interview, September 26, 2018