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Jewish Heritage: The Oral Histories - Cuba Family Archives

MEMOIRIST:          HELENE FACHER

 INTERVIEWER:    LILA BETH YOUNG

 DATE:                    DECEMBER 23, 1996  

 LOCATION:           ATLANTA, GA

Transcript (PDF)

Biography

Helene Facher was February 20, 1918, in Atlanta. Her father's family came from Bialystok, Poland/Ukraine. Helene’s mother was an orphan in Atlanta. Helene grew up in Atlanta, except for one year spent in Fort Worth, Texas where her father had gotten a job, only to have to return to Atlanta when the Great Depression came. Helene was born in 1918 in Atlanta and grew up in a “traditional reform” Jewish family. From the love and dedication of Helene’s mother, she transferred traditions down many generations. Helene went to public schools and participated in many Jewish youth groups. Attending The Temple for the synagogue, Helene is a Reform Jew but had to participate in the strict Orthodox beliefs as a member. Helene discovered that many Jewish Atlantans had many opinions of what it means to be a Reformed Jew at the time she was a member. Where she was not fond of those certain opinions to be always positive she was optimistic. She educated herself plus others on what if means to live your best Jewish life no matter your background.

During her youth, she became more active in the Jewish young adult community. In her interview, she explained how those years were memorable. Her advocacy passion grew for the Young Judea Club, plus obtaining a role as the President of Jewish Educational Alliance and Gold's Delicatessen was very important to Helene. While in a life transition, Helene graduated from Commercial High School and she traveled to New York City. She had never been, and her goal was to explore the city for self-discovery in the Depression Era. A bit cultured shocked by many crowds prevented Helene to want to explore the city by herself. A connected friend name Rose Bizen showed her the city as her guide. The day she left New York, she knew she wanted to return immediately as an official resident. Quickly, she applied to a job located inside a chemical house in the city.

In later years, Helene expressed that New York is how she met her husband name Bernard Facher. They met in her apartment complex through a neighbor friend. When World War II started, Helene and Bernard moved to Atlanta and began Facher Painting and Decorating Company. The company grew over the years and still exists. Helene was involved with many Jewish organizations, assuming leadership roles in Pioneer Women, Hadassah, B'nai B'rith Women, and others. Finally, with her husband, Ms. Facher raised her one daughter, Robyn. Robyn became a trailblazing leader in the developmental disabilities community because of her grandchild Lori, born with Down's Syndrome. In her final years, Helene was deeply involved in Lori’s education and improvement of living conditions for children with developmental disabilities together with her daughter.  Helene passed away December 16 2016 in Atlanta Georgia.

Scope of interview

Helene Facher born February 20, 1918, in Atlanta discusses growing up in the Atlanta Jewish community, her education, career, family, the various neighborhoods in Atlanta, and Atlanta synagogues and rabbis. Nearing the end of the interview, she speaks of her return to Atlanta from living in New York with her husband Benard Facher.  In great detail, Helene shares the adventures of her volunteer activities in the Jewish community and her life-affirming work with children with developmental disabilities.

Keywords

The Temple

Rabbi Marx

Germany

Camp barney Medinetz 

Orthodox Jew 

Disability

Temple

Russia

Concentration camp 

Atlanta, Georgia

Bar Mitzvah

Bat Mitzvah

Rabbi

Shearith Israel

Zionist 

Hadassah 

Adjecomce 

Activism 

Education

Women 

Zaban Park

Disability

Facher Painting and Decorating Company

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