About this Collection

The Feinstein Center's oral history project consists of 48 interviews which were conducted by staff and volunteers between 1996 and 1999. They sought to capture and record the experiences of Jews who played a significant role in business, political, cultural, educational, philanthropic, and other aspects of the community,

About this Interview

Allyson Schwartz discusses her childhood growing up in Queens, New York. Her interest in social work led her move to Philadelphia with her husband, where she attended Bryn Mawr, did early work on community development and housing, and started the Elizabeth Blackwell Health Center for Women. Her extensive work within the Philadelphia community led to her election as state senator in 1990. In addition, she elaborates on helping to find the Women's Way coalition and her involvement in the Department of Human Services of Philadelphia. Her responsibilities of balancing a career with her marriage and two children while still finding time to focus on her faith allowed her to become a role model for women and the Jewish community. She stresses the importance of being a public official with values and her accounts support how they have influenced her positions on issues in the community.

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Biographical / Historical Note

"Preserving the Voices of History: The Feinstein Center Jewish Philadelphia Oral History Project" gathered an oral history collection containing the memory of Jews who were central to the growth and development of the Philadelphia Jewish community. The project focused on interviewing Jews who contributed to the integration of Jews in the larger Philadelphia community and on women and how they have integrated being a woman and being Jewish in the twentieth century.

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Transcript Note

Note on ADA Compliance

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About This Collection

Myer and Rosaline Feinstein Center for American Jewish History Oral Histories

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The Feinstein Center for American Jewish History promotes the study of the of the Philadelphia Jewish community.
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