Helen Herner (b. 1932)

Helen Herner was born on June 6, 1932 in San Jose, California. She was the second child of Dina Gevertz Ball and Max Ball, both immigrants from Austria/Hungary. Her father was a tailor who immigrated to Oakland, California in 1920 and married Dina Gevertz there. Helen’s brother Paul was born in 1922 and the family moved to San Jose for 10 years and then returned to Oakland when Helen was 10 years old. She finished her schooling in Oakland and then graduated from college in California in 1967 before coming to Portland to get a degree in education for the deaf. She married in 1968.

Helen worked for 26 years at the School for the Deaf in Vancouver, Washington. She was active with the Mazamas and in the Portland folk dancing community. After her retirement she began pursuing her Jewish education more seriously, taking classes with the Melton School and at the Judaic Studies Department at Portland State University.