Boris Dayyan (born Mosessohn) (1907-1996)
Boris Dayyan (born Mossesohn) was born on November 4, 1907 on Johnson Street in Portland, Oregon. Boris was from a prominent local Jewish family. His grandfather, Nehemiah Mosseyavich Dayyan, immigrated to the United States from Odessa, Ukraine in 1882, and was a rabbi at Neveh Zedek. His father, David Mossesohn, was very active in the community, including being the B’nai B’rith president in 1903, a member of Oddfellows, the Knights of Pythias, and the Elks, and he was involved in the Anti-Defamation League. Both his father and his uncle, Moses Mossesohn, worked for the Chamber of Commerce in Portland. And his mother, Minnie Lerner (Mayna), was involved with the Council of Jewish Women.
Boris went to school in Irvington through the 7th grade. He attended the University of Michigan from 1924 to 1928, where he was a member of Phi Upsilon Pi. During the Second World War, Boris was drafted into the military and he recalls having trouble finding work after leaving the military. Boris went to Congregation Ahavai Sholom as a child, but was never interested in religion, though he was always proud of his Jewish heritage.
Boris’ family began the Jewish Tribune in 1903. The paper, which had a national circulation, focused mainly on Talmudic interpretations and fostering better understanding between Christians and Jews. When the family moved east in 1918, they sold all but the name of the paper to David Cohen, who published The Scribe. The Jewish Tribune was then sold to The Hebrew Standard in the 1930s.
In 1941, Boris married a gentile woman, Barbara, with whom he had three children. Boris died in Van Nuys, California, in 1996.