Helen Blumenthal (1923-2001)

Helen Weinberg Blumenthal was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on May 5, 1923 to parents of Russian and Polish descent. She interrupted her studies to become a doctor to enter military service during the Second World War. She served as a Navy nurse at Bethesda Naval Hospital near Washington, where she became friends with Eleanor Roosevelt. Helen moved to Portland in 1945 to be with her husband, Edgar Blumenthal, who was completing his dental degree. The couple had three children: Eileen, Les and Howard Blumenthal. When the children were grown Helen returned to school and received an MA in Middle East Studies at Portland State University. Her Master’s thesis was on the New Odessa Colony, a Jewish Ad Olam commune near Roseburg, Oregon from 1882 to 1887. She was an avid Zionist and served as chair of the Hadassah Zionist Council. Helen died July 13, 2001.