Isidor Brill (1888-1976)

Dr. Isidor Brill was born in Yaldemeresk, Poland on October 1, 1888. He emigrated to New York to join an older brother in 1903, and arrived in Portland in 1905 where he attended the Shattuck School for one year. In Poland, Isidor had no access to a public school education but did attend a Yeshiva in Pinsk. One of the reasons he left Poland was his desire to get an education and become a doctor, his life-long dream. Isidor attended Miss Allen’s Preparatory School in Portland and then Columbia University, where he received his BA in 1912 and an MD in 1914. After a residency at Stanford University, he returned to Portland in 1916 and joined the University of Oregon Medical School faculty. He was the first Oregon governor of the American College of Cardiology and served as clinical professor at the University of Oregon Medical School from 1916 to 1968. He established medical clinics for medical students at St. Vincent Hospital in Portland, Oregon and contributed to the establishment of the electrocardiograph department and and coronary care units there.

In 1923 he married Ruth Lowengart and moved to Southwest Portland. The marriage was unusual for the era, when Jews of Eastern European descent did not mingle with Jews of German descent. Isidor has crossed that boundary already as a younger man by becoming close personal friends with both Rabbi Stephen Wise (with whom he continued his friendship while at Columbia) and with Rabbi Jonah Wise. Isidor and Ruth had two daughters, Madeline Nelson and Eleanor Stern, and both girls were raised at Temple Beth Israel.