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Jewish Heritage: The Oral Histories - Cuba Family Archives

MEMOIRIST:                MARILYN SHUBIN

INTERVIEWER:            MARGERY DIAMOND

LOCATION:                  ATLANTA, GEORGIA

DATE:                          NOVEMBER 16, 1998

                                    DECEMBER 3, 1998

Transcript (PDF)

MEMOIRIST:              MARILYN SHUBIN

INTERVIEWER:         EMILY KATZ

LOCATION:               ATLANTA, GEORGIA

DATE:                        APRIL 22, 2015

Transcript (PDF)

BIOGRAPHY

Marilyn Shubin was born in 1927 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  She lived in the Jewish neighborhood of Wynnefield.  Her mother and father where both born in the United States.  Her father’s family was from Riga.  Her mother’s family was from Ia┼či, Romania. Marilyn came from a large extended family, with both her mother and father having large families.  Her father’s father lived with them for 18 years.  Marilyn’s family background is Conservative Judaism.

Marilyn attended Overbrook High School.  She attended Drexel Institute of Technology in Philadelphia and majored in business with a concentration in retailing. After graduating, she went to work at Lit Brothers Department Store, where she met her husband, Joshua.  They married in 1951.  In 1952, they moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where Joshua had an opportunity to work at Higbee Company.  They lived in Cleveland for 10 years before moving to Atlanta in 1962 for an opportunity to work at Davison-Paxon.  Marilyn and Joshua belonged to a Reform congregation in Cleveland.  They belong to the Temple in Atlanta, a Reform congregation.  They have two children, Lewis and Joanie.

Marilyn has a long history of volunteer work and has held numerous leadership positions.  Her volunteer work began in Cleveland with the National Council of Jewish Women.  She joined Hadassah immediately on their arrival to Atlanta and served as secretary to the Atlanta chapter.  She volunteered with the NCJW in the Atlanta area, and in 1967, Marilyn was elected as the president of the Atlanta section.  In 1970 after finishing her term as president, she went on to the national board of the NCJW.  

In 1970, she began her professional life working for the Atlanta Jewish Federation.  From 1975 to 1979, she was national vice president of the NCJW, which allowed her to travel all over the United States and Israel.  From 1979 to 1994, she was campaign director for the Atlanta Jewish Federation.  She went on to become the assistant director of the Federation. 

Marilyn was the lead staff person for the Mega Missions responsible for taking several hundred people to Israel on several occasions.  Marilyn was asked to be on the Holocaust Memorial Commission that President Jimmy Carter had organized.    

SCOPE OF INTERVIEW, 1998 

Marilyn Shubin talks about growing up in Philadelphia in the Jewish neighborhood Wynnefield.  She describes the neighborhood as being a very special kind of experience with Jewish merchants, professionals, and synagogues.  She remembers walking to school, from her kindergarten years through high school.   She talks about going to Drexel Institute of Technology after high school and describes it as being somewhat unusual for girls in the family at that time.  She describes working at Lit Brothers Department Store after graduating and meeting her husband Joshua through that experience. 

She talks about marrying Josh in 1951 and moving to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1952, where he had an opportunity to work for Higbee Company before they moved to Atlanta in 1962 to work for Davison-Paxon.  She relates that their two children were born in Cleveland.  She mentions that she and Josh belonged to Reform congregations in both Cleveland and Atlanta. 

She describes being greeted by a Hadassah member on her Atlanta doorstep while waiting for the moving truck.  She relates that she joined and was appointed secretary at her first meeting.  She details a long history of volunteer activities in Atlanta.  She describes volunteering and holding several positions of leadership in the National Council of Jewish Women, working for the local section as well as national, which allowed her to travel within the United States and Israel.  She discusses holding leadership positions with the Atlanta Jewish Federation and working professionally for the organization for nearly 20 years.  She discusses Mega Missions and leading members of the community to Israel.

On a national level, she discusses being appointed a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging in Washington.  She also discusses being asked to sit on the first Holocaust Memorial Commission organized by President Jimmy Carter.

She describes Atlanta as being her home and central to where the family gathers for holidays.  She talks about being members of the Temple and remembers Rabbi Jacob Rothschild.  She talks about two children, Lewis and Joanie, and their experiences at the Temple.  

SCOPE OF INTERVIEW, 2015 

Marilyn Shubin talks about her family history and growing up in a Jewish neighborhood in Philadelphia.  She relates that both her parents were born in the United States and their families were from Riga and Romania.  She relates that of her grandparents, she only knew her grandfather, who lived with them for 18 years.  Her maternal grandparents went to Israel after they came to America.  She recounts having family in Europe but losing contact with them after World War II.  She remembers that her grandfather had a store on South Street in Philadelphia.  She remembers an uncle who went to Oklahoma before it was a state to make his fortune.

She describes meeting her husband, Joshua, at a junior executive training program in Philadelphia after she graduated from Drexel Institute of Technology.  She relates they moved to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1952, one year after their marriage, where Josh had an opportunity to work for Higbee Company before moving to Atlanta in 1962. 

She describes her experience in the South during the Civil Rights Era and it being a difficult period.  She relates that it was a very different experience from the North.  She remembers seeing segregated restrooms and restaurants.  She recalls when Martin Luther King, Jr., received the Nobel Peace Prize and the city’s response to that.  She discusses how she has seen Atlanta grow and change during her 50 years living here.

She describes being greeted by a Hadassah member on her Atlanta doorstep.  She relates that she was appointed treasurer at her first meeting.  She details a long history of volunteer activities in Atlanta.  She describes volunteering and holding several positions of leadership in the National Council of Jewish Women, working for the local section, and working with organizations for the aged and the African-American communities.  She discusses holding leadership positions with the Atlanta Jewish Federation and working professionally for the organization for nearly 20 years. 

Marilyn discusses having established personal and professional friendships all over the country from her volunteer and professional work.  She talks about it in terms of broadening her horizons and for her entire family.  She discusses the difficulty of getting young women volunteers today.

Marilyn describes Atlanta as being her home and central to where the family gathers for holidays.  She talks about being members of the Temple and remembers Rabbi Jacob Rothschild.  She talks about two children, Lewis and Joanie, and their experiences at the Temple. 

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