Rueben Blumenthal (1891-1977)

Reuben Blumenthal (born Runyas) was born January 1, 1891 in Romanika, Russia, and came to New York when he was two. His father worked as a watchmaker but died in New York in 1898. Reuben, his mother and sister, moved to Portland when Reuben was 12, because his aunt, uncle, and cousins, the Nudelmans, lived here. At first the family lived in South Portland, and Reuben attended Shattuck and Failing schools. The family belonged to Congregation Shaarie Torah and later Congregation Neveh Zedek. When Reuben’s mother remarried, the family moved to Sellwood. (Reuben took his stepfather’s name when he registered for school.) Reuben married in 1919 after returning from service in the First World War. He worked many jobs before opening a haberdashery in the early 1920s on 13th and Washington, called the Washingtoggery. He was an active member of B’nai B’rith and involved in the First Hebrew Benevolent society, South Parkway Club and the Jewish Theater. Reuben died February 2, 1977.

Interview(s):